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Kendall Coyne Schofield responds to backlash against Pierre McGuire

“While I wish it came out differently, I know Pierre doesn’t question my hockey knowledge,” she wrote.


Kendall Coyne Schofield isn’t dwelling on the remarks of NBC Sports broadcaster Pierre McGuire on Wednesday night.

During the pregame of NBC Sports Network’s “Wednesday Night Hockey” coverage of the Lightning-Penguins, McGuire set the hockey world a buzz when he explained to Coyne Schofield which bench each team would be at.

“Tampa’s going to be on your left, Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right ... we’re paying you to be an analyst, not be a fan (Wednesday night),” McGuire said.

Coyne Schofield moved past it, and addressed the game at hand.

“Uhh yeah.. I’m excited to see Tampa start. They’ve been off for 10 days, haven’t had a game,” she said. “Pittsburgh on the other hand had a tough loss on Monday. Got a little blown out of the water by New Jersey Devils, so I’m excited to see the start (Wednesday night).”

After the first intermission, Coyne Schofield left McGuire between the benches and joined broadcasters Eddie Olyczyk and John Forslund in the booth.

After receiving “countless messages” and watching the interaction, she issued a statement in a tweet detailing her thoughts on the exchange.

“If I were watching it at home and saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended,” wrote Coyne, who has known McGuire for years. “But what I also know is how excited Pierre was for me and to be a part of this moment. While I wish it came out differently, I know Pierre doesn’t question my hockey knowledge. But, to be honest, that’s not what’s important.”

Coyne Schofield — a Palos Heights, Illinois native — decided to focus on the positives.

“What IS important is for every young girl reading this to know it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of my hockey knowledge — because I do not doubt my hockey knowledge,” she continued. “I didn’t need a gold medal to come to that conclusion. I needed belief in myself. That took time to build and I would never let someone else undo all that work on the ice — and especially off.”

McGuire also addressed the situation in his own statement.

Before making her national broadcasting debut, she made history by becoming the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition last Saturday. She took seventh place in the eight-player field in the Fastest Skater event, clocking in a faster time than Coyotes forward Clayton Keller.

The 26-year-old won the 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award winner as the best female NCAA hockey player while earning a communications degree at Northeastern University in Boston. She’s also a five-time World Championship gold medalist, 2014 Olympic silver medalist and 2018 Olympic gold medalist.

Coyne Schofield has five goals and 12 points in 11 games with the Minnesota Whitecaps in the franchise’s inaugural season in the National Women’s Hockey League. She’ll represent the Whitecaps next month at the NWHL All-Star weekend in Nashville.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to include statements from both parties.