GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 06: Ryan Reaves #75 of the St. Louis Blues during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 6, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blues defeated the Coyotes 6-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

John Tortorella continues to make news for the wrong reasons.

The Columbus Blue Jackets coach had some choice words for St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves following the club’s 2-1 overtime loss. Tortorella referred to Reaves as an “animal” after the game for fighting Nick Foligno.

Calling one the league’s few black players an animal isn’t a good look. Usually, I’d give a coach the benefit of the doubt, as the comments could be just a poor choice in words, but Tortorella has a history of making backward comments about race.

Back in September, when the Colin Kaepernick anthem protest was dominating headlines, Torts made it clear he’d bench any player who peacefully protested before a game. He was criticized league-wide, including this zinger from Lightning forward J.T. Brown.

Tortorella also benched Dustin Byfuglien during the World Cup suspiciously following his reaction to those comments.

Referring to Tortorella as a racist is jumping the gun, but it’s hard to deny his pattern of making absurd, offensive comments about race. If he hadn’t made comments about players protesting the national anthem and benched Byfuglien, the Reaves remarks could be forgiven, but he made them.

Calling Reaves “an animal,” whether intentionally racist or not, doesn’t belong in today’s game. Torts should know better — but perhaps, he simply doesn’t.

[Yahoo Sports]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.