There were a lot of cringe-worthy moments at last night’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas — from poor attempts at comedy by host Joe Manganiello to an opening and out-of-place live performance by Arkells to mix-ups by Golden Knights brass during the announcing of the expansion draft.
But nothing can top the ridiculous comment made by hockey legend and Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne, who, while on stage presenting the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship — of all things — decided to point out his co-presenter’s legs.
That co-presenter, Needham native Aly Raisman, is a multi-gold-medal-winning Olympian (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and championship gymnast.
But hey, check out those stems, boys.
— Renato Mazariegos (@RPMSports18) June 22, 2017
Reaction to the comment was swift, with many calling the 65-year-old Dionne “creepy” and others saying he made the show “awkward.” You could just hear defenders explain the situation away as “that’s how guys talk” and how Dionne is just from another generation where this sort of stuff was commonplace. Where’s Don Draper when you need a laugh?
But what about Raisman?
“Introductions at awards ceremonies are often scripted, so the fault may not be with Dione. However, the fact that Raisman was at the receiving end of the comments was particularly jarring. The 23-year-old has spoken out consistently about the way female bodies are discussed in society. In May, she criticized an airport worker who had questioned whether she was muscular enough to be a gymnast.”
For good measure, here’s Raisman’s bio:
“Alexandra Rose ‘Aly’ Raisman (born May 25, 1994) is an American gymnast and two-time Olympian. She was a member and captain of both the 2012 ‘Fierce Five’ and 2016 ‘Final Five’ U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics which won their respective team competitions.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, she won gold medals in the team and floor competitions, as well as the bronze medal on the balance beam, making her the most decorated American gymnast at the Games. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she won a gold medal in the team event, making her and teammate Gabby Douglas the only Americans with back-to-back team golds. Raisman also won silver medals in the individual all-around and for floor exercise.”
There’s certainly a lot there to talk about in those often-scripted award introduction moments. Shame on Dionne for resorting to chauvinistic bullshit.
And props to Raisman for not going all Bob Probert on the aged hockey star right there on the spot. For that, she should get her own award from the NHL.