Duncan Keith comment to female reporter

Did Duncan Keith make sexist comments to a female reporter in Vancouver?

4/23/13 in NHL   |   Pat   |   5135 respect

Apr 4, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) skates with the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the United Center. The Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-3 in the shootout.  Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY SportsThe internet is buzzing over Duncan Keith's comments to Vancouver sports radio reporter Karen Thompson.

The Vancouver Sun, who obviously has a bit of a pro-Canucks (and inherently anti-Blackhawks) bias, made it sound like Keith told Thompson to get back in the kitchen and let the men talk hockey. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports has a more measured take. Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star even goes so far as to say that Keith's comments actually confirm equality in the locker room. So there are takes on all ends of the spectrum.
 
In reality, the exchange was simply an example of frustration from a player who believed a reporter was asking a pointless question after a frustrating loss.

The play in question was a breakaway goal by Daniel Sedin. Keith was the closest player to Sedin, and slashed him right as he was shooting.

No penalty was called, and even if it was, it wouldn't have mattered, because Sedin scored. It would have been called a delayed penalty, and immediately waved off as soon as the puck went in the net.

Understandably, Keith viewed this as a rather insignificant portion of the play. No penalty was called, and even if it was, it wouldn't have resulted in any penalty minutes.

Here's the play:




Still, for whatever reason, Thompson pressed Keith pretty hard on the issue. Keith noted that there was no penalty called, and Thompson pointed out that perhaps it should have been called.

That's when the comments started to move towards Thompson's gender, and where it seems to some people as though Keith may have been sexist in his remarks. The audio is available here, but I'll give you the transcript:

Thomson: “Can you talk about what happened after the Daniel Sedin goal?”
Keith: “Which one was that one?
Thomson: “The third goal.”
Keith: “The third one? Well, we scored one goal after that I think and the game ended 3-1.”
Thomson: “Right after the goal when you were on the ice with Daniel. Right after he scored. You remember?”
Keith: “I went off the ice and took a minus. I don’t know. What are you talking about?”
Thomson: “Nothing. Just checking.”
Keith: “What did you see?”
Thomson: “It looked like maybe there was a penalty that went undetected. You seemed a bit frustrated.”
Keith: “Oh, no. I don’t think there was anything. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as a ref maybe, eh?”
Thomson: “Yeah, maybe.”
Keith: The first female … ”
Thomson: “I can’t skate, though.”
Keith: “The first female referee. You can’t play probably either, right? But you're thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”

Keith mentioned Thompson's gender when he said "the first female referee." It wasn't in a disparaging way, it was merely a comment that if Thompson was made a referee, like she seemed to be suggesting, she would be the first female one.

Later, some of Keith's comments WERE disparaging. Like when he said she probably couldn't play hockey, either. But that had nothing to do with her gender, and everything to do with the fact that she had just said she can't skate. That's not a female issue, that's just an issue of someone who can't skate. There are males and females alike who can't ice skate.

Lots of people would love to make this an issue of gender discrimination, but let's not get overly sensitive. Was Duncan Keith being a bit of a jerk, playing the "you've never played the game so you shouldn't report on it" card? Sure. But that's entirely different from being sexist.
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4/24/13   |   j_lmacisaac

Someone like Keith should know never to go the sex area , it is certain that he would be called sexist by someone , as political correctness is out of control in our society. A penalty in this situation is redundant and the reporter should know this. The motive for bringing it up is left to speculation. But the motive for this situation becoming an issue  is clear. The media is again sensationalizing for the sake of a story , it is irresponsible journalism which is far too rampant these days. It has the potential of ruining someones reputation ( collateral damage I guess in the eyes of the media).

4/24/13   |   ML31   |   3615 respect

Pat wrote:
I'd be willing to make the case that someone who has never even bothered to learn how to ice skate, as the reporter admitted, might not have a solid understanding of a player's emotions during a game.

I would also make the case that game frustration is universal no matter what sport or level it's played at.  One need not know how to skate to understand frustration on the playing surface.

4/23/13   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   24025 respect

this is a "that's a clown question bro" situation if I've ever seen one.
While Keith did let his frustration get the best of him, he got beat on the play, Sedin scored, he didn't injure Sedin and the reporter was trying to make a mountain out of a molehill

4/23/13   |   Pat   |   5135 respect

ML31 wrote:
No.  Not sexist.  Just a little irritating. It doesn't happen often but a pet peeve is when players or coaches poo poo fans (and in this case reporters) because they never played the game.  That doesn't matter.  Many have been watching for years and have a solid understanding even though they never "laced them up".

I'd be willing to make the case that someone who has never even bothered to learn how to ice skate, as the reporter admitted, might not have a solid understanding of a player's emotions during a game.

4/23/13   |   ML31   |   3615 respect

No.  Not sexist.  Just a little irritating. It doesn't happen often but a pet peeve is when players or coaches poo poo fans (and in this case reporters) because they never played the game.  That doesn't matter.  Many have been watching for years and have a solid understanding even though they never "laced them up".

4/23/13   |   Jess   |   32863 respect

adkubish wrote:
I don't see Keith's comments as sexist at all. But they were kind of rude, even if not sexist. I think this points to another problem with a minority of athletes who take out their frustration on reporters who ask questions that are actually decent questions. Sure, there are stupid questions, but I don't think this was. She was asking Keith to respond to something he did that he was completely responsible for; I don't see anything wrong with that. But with decent questions like that, some players or coaches play the "you've never played hockey so you don't understand it" card. All Keith needed to say was, "No, I was just frustrated, and it didn't matter because I didn't injure the other player and he'd already scored." 

I think that part of the reason some questions are considered stupid by players and coaches is their lack of understanding of this concept: reporters often ask questions even though they know what the answer will or should be, but they still ask them because it's not about them. The answers are for the sake of the viewers, and part of a reporter's job is to ask leading questions that will lead the player or coach to say something that viewers will be interested to hear. Without those questions, we'll never hear the players and coaches say anything. Some viewers are less knowledgeable about a given sport than others, so seemingly pointless questions may be beneficial for those kinds of viewers, because seeing how the athletes approach and react to certain situations in the sport could help them understand the sport better. More knowledgeable fans may simply want to see a player respond to something he did in the game. What I would say to Mr. Keith is, with the amount you get paid, I don't exactly feel much sympathy for you for having to answer that question.
(Edited by Jess)

While I agree with your general statement, I thought the reporter seemed kind of condescending when she said "Nothing, just checking." It might not come across that way in print but listening to the audio I thought there was a tone there. The guy's already frustrated, and while he may have been responsible for doing something he shouldn't have been doing and the penalty wasn't called, she's poking an already irritated bear there. I can understand why he might have lashed out. These guys are human.

4/23/13   |   adkubish

I don't see Keith's comments as sexist at all. But they were kind of rude, even if not sexist. I think this points to another problem with a minority of athletes who take out their frustration on reporters who ask questions that are actually decent questions. Sure, there are stupid questions, but I don't think this was. She was asking Keith to respond to something he did that he was completely responsible for; I don't see anything wrong with that. But with decent questions like that, some players or coaches play the "you've never played hockey so you don't understand it" card. All Keith needed to say was, "No, I was just frustrated, and it didn't matter because I didn't injure the other player and he'd already scored." 

I think that part of the reason some questions are considered stupid by players and coaches is their lack of understanding of this concept: reporters often ask questions even though they know what the answer will or should be, but they still ask them because it's not about them. The answers are for the sake of the viewers, and part of a reporter's job is to ask leading questions that will lead the player or coach to say something that viewers will be interested to hear. Without those questions, we'll never hear the players and coaches say anything. Some viewers are less knowledgeable about a given sport than others, so seemingly pointless questions may be beneficial for those kinds of viewers, because seeing how the athletes approach and react to certain situations in the sport could help them understand the sport better. More knowledgeable fans may simply want to see a player respond to something he did in the game. What I would say to Mr. Keith is, with the amount you get paid, I don't exactly feel much sympathy for you for having to answer that question.

4/23/13   |   Jess   |   32863 respect

(Edited by Jess)

I didn't see this as sexist at all; if he hadn't said "the first female ref" (which, she would be), it sounds like a conversation he could have had with a male reporter as well. And that was hilarious. This was my absolute favorite: Keith: “The first female referee. You can’t play probably either, right? But you're thinking the game like you know it? Okay, see ya.”

Oh - and I didn't see that he was saying that she shouldn't be reporting the game if she hadn't played it. I thought that was more like - you've never played the game, and you're arguing with me about what happened out on the ice and what was or wasn't called.