Retired hockey star P.K. Subban is getting some grief from social media for an ill-advised joke during a Tuesday playoff broadcast.
During the postgame broadcast of the Florida Panther’s 4-2 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the former defenseman was asked what he thought the Maple Leafs needed to do to be better prepared for the next game. Subban replied with an off-the-cuff joke, and the internet exploded. According to the Daily Caller, Subban said:
“Maybe they need to pack a Lizzo-sized lunch,” Subban said. “They weren’t prepared, in my opinion.”
That was a bad joke. Funny, maybe, but bad. Considering the sensitive times we live in and Lizzo’s stature as the biggest star in pop music, literally and figuratively, perhaps Subban should have passed the puck.
Naturally, social media users and keyboard warriors responded in the way only they could. The heat was turned up so high is probably melted the ice at the arena. The Daily Caller continued:
“Sis Pk Subban really just say ‘Lizzo sized lunch?’ That’s… not acceptable. That’s fatphobic,” said one Twitter user.
“Gross comment by PK Subban,” said another Twitter user.
However, the most ridiculous comments were the ones accusing a black man of somehow being racist to a black woman because he made a fat joke. Since when is fat related to race? I guess since now.
Some commentators accused Subban of anti-black racism, despite Subban being black himself.
“There’s something to be said about how comfortable these Black men feel using their platforms in this way to harass Lizzo and Black women in general,” said another Twitter user.
“I gotta say I’m not surprised that this man chose to dunk on a beloved Black woman for clout,” said another Twitter user.
Subban played 13 seasons in the NHL as a defenseman, but his toughest opponent may be public sentiment. He joined ESPN as an analyst last fall after playing seven years with the Montreal Canadiens, three years with the Nashville Predators, and three years with the New Jersey Devils.
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PK Subban randomly dissing Lizzo was NOT on my bingo card for tonight😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Gvc8rq7HB6
— DaCaniac (@CaniacDaBaby) May 3, 2023
It is ridiculous and inaccurate to call Subban, a black man, a racist because of a fat joke. The man simply made a mistake. Excoriating him and calling him names on Twitter is no better than what he said. In fact, it might be worse.
Subban was making an off-the-cuff comment live on television. It should be noted that he isn’t a broadcaster. He is a retired athlete. Anyone can let an off-color joke slip and immediately realize it was a mistake, especially someone who has been in the locker room for more than a decade rather than in a broadcast booth. Why does anyone feel the need to defend Lizzo anyway?
It is pointless because Lizzo doesn’t need people coming to her defense. She seems to be pretty happy in her own body and is a hugely successful pop star. Perhaps the biggest one in the world not named Taylor Swift, pun unintended.
Lizzo doesn’t need keyboard warriors rushing to her defense to call a former black hockey player a racist. Subban made a mistake, and an apology probably should be made, but then it is over. Move on. Keyboard warriors need to remember that people on television are human and make mistakes and calm down. If everyone was held responsible for everything they said, society would grind to a halt quicker than it already is.