Sports: Brad Marchand Embroiled in Licking Controversy
(Photo Credits: Screengrab from SPORTSNET YouTube)
Netizens and media alike are asking: was Brad Marchand out of bounds? If you have no idea what I am talking about, we are referring to last weekend’s incident where NHL player Brad Marchand licked his opponent—Ryan Callahan’s—face. Callahan plays for Tampa Bay Lightning while Marchand plays for Boston Bruins. Needless to say, the kissing/licking affair has put Marchand in hot water. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of the incident, “There’s absolutely no place in our game for that. I don’t understand it.”
Preach Kelly Hrudey!
On Saturday, NHL took to Twitter to announce that Marchand’s actions were unacceptable and that if anything similar is to happen in the future, then he will be disciplined.
NHL’s Colin Campbell spoke with Boston’s Brad Marchand and GM Don Sweeney today. The League put the player on notice that his actions last night are unacceptable and similar behavior in the future will be dealt with by way of supplemental discipline.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 5, 2018
This was not the first time that Marchand has kissed or licked another player during a match. Last month, he also kissed Toronto Maple Leafs’ Leo Komarov. Take a look at the particular moment below.
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) April 13, 2018
When asked about the incident, Marchand told the reporters that Komarov is “cute.”
What is it about Komarov that makes you want to cuddle with him? Brad Marchand: “He’s cute.” pic.twitter.com/bZ4hJgNIq4
— Mark Dunphy (@m_b_dunphy) April 13, 2018
Some fans thought it was hilarious for having done something unexpected to the point that the opponent didn’t know how to react while others were saying it was sexual harassment. But former hockey player Brock McGillis called it homophobic. “By kissing a player and saying it’s because he’s cute, Brad Marchand is using sexuality as a means to get under an opponent’s skin,” said McGillis in an interview. “A man kissing a man followed up by his comments makes it homophobic.”
McGillis went on to say that he agrees with Lightning coach Jon Cooper; he also added that this incident is a setback to the LGBT community in sports. “Fans are referring to it as disgusting, which (is what) an unwanted lick is,” McGillis said. “But the fact that sports news will be continuously showing a man kissing or licking another man in a negative light will set our community back in our attempt to find a place in male team sports.”
What makes this more unacceptable, they say, is the fact that NHL appointed Marchand as Bruins’ ambassador to the LGBTQ community these past two years. Going back to the original question, was Marchand out of bounds? Is this incident, as OutSports call it, homophobic and a disappointment? Should he be fined or suspended? Or is it, as some fans pointed out, hilarious? Share with us your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.