Mike Milbury (a commentator on popular CBC show – Hockey Night in Canada) has offended homosexuals by describing how stopping fighting in the NHL was akin to ‘pansification’.
Jeff KEay (network spokesman for the channel) has said that neither Milbury nor his fellow commentators intended to cause offence and instead argued that the colloquial use of the term has meant that the word is much more acceptable in today’s society!
This seems an argument that CBC are destined to lose. Just as Carol Thatcher got into trouble for allegedly referring to a black player as a ‘golliwog’ (see post below), so Milbury’s phrase is equally wrong. Yes, I know what he intended to say – that reducing hockey to a gentle mild-mannered non-contact sport would be wrong, and yes I know the term ‘pansy’ is in the common vernacular, but that does not make it any more acceptable. Free speech is one thing, but using this phrase, not once but repeatedly, seems rather ill-judged.