Every so often there’s a topic that flares up on Twitter that requires more than their 140 word limit to really get into. For a handful of folks Thursday was one of those days when Kevin Paul Dupont took exception to Mike Milbury referring to Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin as “Thelma and Louise”. Now for the record I’m a fan of Dupont even though I don’t always agree with what he has to say, which I guess is the real reason I decided to post my thoughts on the issue.
I took Milbury’s comments as hyperbole and understood their entertainment value. Milbury has a history of saying outlandish things and in my opinion this was just one of those times and didn’t really approach that mythical “line” that many people worry about crossing. I chuckled when I heard the comment, knowing what point he was trying to make but half shaking my head because to me it wasn’t as funny as I envisioned Milbury was thinking it would be.
Dupont decided to take his objections to Twitter, where he posted:
Milbury wrong to call Sedins ‘Thelma and Louise”. Gender shots way out of bounds. Fail. As did JR w/ ”gutless” shot at Marleau.
While I agree that Jeremy Roenick’s (JR) shot at Patrick Marleau was gutless, I really think that Milbury’s comments were not made in the same vein. This would also be a good spot to mention that I generally like Roenick’s insights, so it’s not like I favor Milbury over Roenick or vice-versa.
There were obviously many tweets back at Dupont saying he was off base, because soon after he tweeted:
Astounding amount of female hate. Seen it for yrs, especially when writing about female athletes/role models. Vile. Sad. Now expected.
I personally didn’t see the “female hate” in Milbury’s comments and tweeted that, and also replied that the two women (both hockey fans) seated near me at work were not offended by Milbury’s comments and were in fact laughing at Dupont for making such a big deal over the matter. Earlier today when I decided to write up a blog post I e-mailed them both asking for what they thought on the issue, letting them know I was likely going to use their replies in my blog post. Both answered quickly, and had some interesting stuff to say.
Being familiar with the Boston hockey scene for the last 30 years or so Karen’s thoughts were similar to mine, that Milbury had tried to be funny and missed the mark. Some of her comments were:
I wasn’t offended in the least by what he said. I didn’t find it all that funny, but I saw where he was trying to go with it and he was pretty much right about their play.
The joke might have been funnier had he said “Laverne & Shirley” instead of “Thelma and Louise” because Thelma and Louise were bad ass and the Sedins really haven’t been that good.
The funniest thing about the comment is the US and Canadian women’s teams hit harder than the Sedins.
The other woman, Amy, is a former collegiate ice hockey player and still plays twice a week on men’s teams. Her insight was perhaps the most telling of the two:
Isn’t feeling you need to defend women against such an obviously comedic comment more of a sign of an issue with yourself re:women as opposed to what was being said? I don’t see any women complaining about (Milbury’s) comments, so why is (Dupont) waving the banner in a fight that doesn’t need fighting?
In the middle of the tweeting I decided to run a question to Josie, who I have known for years and knew would have some great insights, but as she doesn’t follow Dupont much of the information would have been missed by her. She tweeted thanks Dupont for having the discussion, although she was in the camp the comment was really about “female hate”.
And, as I expected, she had probably the best tweet of them all:
Hockey people are the best people on the planet but you do need to adjust for dumb talking sometimes, esp. w/onair commentary
That probably goes for everyone on Twitter, too.