Hockey Announcer Tossed For ‘Lynching Ropes’ Comment

Downtown St. Paul.
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A television announcer calling the action for the Minnesota Boys State Hockey Tournament was suspended for the remainder of the tournament after he referred to “lynching ropes” during the broadcast.

Per Awful Announcing, longtime local announcer Doug McLeod, while announcing a high school tournament game between White Bear Lake and Blaine, said “all the White Bear fans get out the lynching ropes.” The comment came at a time when White Bear Lake was losing 3-0 to Blaine; Blaine won the quarterfinal game 4-2.

Channel 45 in Minnesota, per The Minneapolis Star Tribune, apologized — and following the game, they pulled McLeod from the air for the remainder of the tournament. McLeod’s broadcasting partner, former Minnesota North Stars general manager Lou Nanne, did not react to the comment at the moment. However, the remark was soon discussed widely on social media.

“Earlier in this broadcast this afternoon, there was an inappropriate comment made,” Tom Hauser — the studio host for the broadcast — said on the air, per the newspaper. “If you were offended by this comment, we sincerely apologize.” McLeod works for Fox Sports North, where he primarily announces University of Minnesota hockey games. For the broadcast of the tournament, Channel 45 brought in several locally-famous older broadcasters.

McLeod’s Twitter account only lists two tweets, one of which came March 5 and expressed that he was “thrilled to be calling games at the MN High School Hockey Tournament again. It’s been way too long.” That tweet’s replies now list multiple pictures of Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy character.

The annual Minnesota State Hockey Tournament takes place each March at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and this year’s is the 75th tournament.

The tournament has become virally famous in recent years for another reason — an annual video featuring the best of the “hockey hair” in each year’s competition. The video was produced anonymously for many years, until local advertising executive John King came forward as the creator in 2016, per Twin Cities Business Journal.

Last year, the hockey hair videos came under fire from an unlikely direction: The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), which supervises high school sports in the state.

“That has absolutely nothing to do with our tournament,” Dave Stead, executive director of the MSHSL, told The Wall Street Journal last year. “It’s a guy who’s sitting in his living room taking photos off his TV set. My concern is for the kids and the tournaments.” One coach also told the newspaper that he was concerned the videos were a distraction for the players.