During tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly appeared to use a homophobic slur toward the referee.

The ice level mic picked up the sound byte and it’s clear someone called the ref the slur. What makes it likely to be Rielly is that on the video, you can see Rielly on the bottom of the clip look at the ref while the slur was being said and was the closest player to that referee.

Rielly has had issues with saying offensive things before. In 2015, Rielly “apologized” for making a misogynistic remark. I put “apologized” in quotation marks because it was one of those “I’m sorry if you were offended” apologies and also said “I know I can’t be using that with the media” as if it was to say it’s okay to say misogynistic things as long as it’s done privately and the media is the true assholes who made a bigger deal out of it than it should’ve been.

For those who are wanting or expecting a long suspension handed down by the NHL, don’t hold your breath. For instance, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf did something similar toward a referee at the Western Conference final in 2017 and received a $10k fine.

UPDATE: The Maple Leafs put out a statement after the game saying they were aware of the slur being said and that they are “fully cooperating” with the NHL on the matter.

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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