CBC announcers Don Cherry (left) and Ron McLean during last the "Coach's Corner" segment on Saturday, April 27, 2013.
(WXIA) -- Outspoken Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry's comments on female sports reporters lit up commenters on social media over the weekend.
Cherry, a mainstay of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts, opened up during his Coach's Corner segment Saturday night, saying that he felt female reporters should not be permitted in locker rooms after games.
"I don't believe -- and I really believe this -- I don't believe women should be allowed in the male dressing room," Cherry said during the segment. "I -- now, wait a minute -- I remember the first time it happened to me. Guys are walking around naked and I hear this woman's voice and I turn around and there's a woman, and she's asking me about the power play, and I say let's go outside, and she said 'I'm not embarrassed,' and I said, 'I'm embarrassed.'"
Cherry's comments came on the heels of a controversy over comments from Chicago Black Hawks player Duncan Keith to a female reporter during a locker room interview.
As Cherry made his remarks, his co-host, Ron McLean, had a pained expression on his face before responding.
"Well, I totally thin a woman can be in the locker room," McLean said. "And I do believe a lot of guys take advantage, and they are sexist. Duncan Keith wasn't eve close - he was hot about the fact that she was making a call, and -"
"But wait a minute," Cherry countered. "You believe women should be --"
McLean continued, "Of course not -- in any job, equal opportunity."
"Equal opportunity?" Cherry said. "Then why aren't men in women's locker rooms?"
"Well, they should be," McLean said.
"You want them to be in there!?" Cherry asked.
"Well, why not," McLean said.
Cherry continued later in the segment:
"I don't feel women are equal," he said. "I feel they're above us. I think they're on a pedestal and they should not be walking in when naked guys are walking in. And some guys take advantage of it and I don't think [they] should be."
Reaction online and in print was quick -- most of it soundly criticizing the CBC announcer and former NHL coach.
In the Globe & Mail, one of Canada's largest newspapers, columnist Jeff Blair said, "Well, our national daft old uncle has gone and done it again."
Katie Brickman with Transcontinental Newspapers suggests that Cherry shouldn't be on the air at all, saying, "I don't know why Cherry is still allowed to have this platform, but maybe this will be the straw that broke the camel's back."
The Coach's Corner segment airs during the first intermission of CBC's hockey coverage, which is carried in the United States on the NHL Network.