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Fox Sports announcer taken off air after ‘lynching’ comment

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An announcer at a high school hockey tournament in Minnesota was reportedly yanked from the broadcast booth Thursday after making a reference to “lynching ropes” after a goal, video shows.

Doug McLeod, a play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports North, made the off-color comment as he called the Minnesota Boys’ State Hockey Tournament Class AA quarterfinals between White Bear Lake and Blaine, according to a six-second video clip posted to Twitter.

“All the White Bear fans get out the lynching ropes,” McLeod said. “Just reporting.”

McLeod, who typically covers the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team for Fox Sports North, was invited to work the booth during the 75th annual high school hockey championships at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. But that special appearance was cut short after the remark during the second period, the Star Tribune reports.

The comment prompted Tom Hauser, chief political reporter for KSTP who worked the game as its studio host for tournament coverage on KSTC-TV, to apologize later in the broadcast. McLeod, meanwhile, did not return to the booth to call a second scheduled game.

“Earlier in this broadcast this afternoon, there was an inappropriate comment made,” Hauser said. “If you were offended by this comment, we sincerely apologize.”

Messages seeking additional comment from KSTC and Fox Sports North were not immediately returned Friday. A University of Minnesota spokeswoman referred inquires regarding McLeod to Fox Sports North, while McLeod could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this week, McLeod said he was “thrilled” to return to work the high school hockey tournament again.

In a tweet, which has since been deleted, McLeod agreed with a user who said the controversy was overblown.

“Thank you,” McLeod posted. “You are exactly right. This country is so thin-skinned and easily offended that an innocent remark like that gets pounced on and my career, perhaps, trashed. I appreciate thoughts.”

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