When the Ottawa Senators played the LA Kings Tuesday, it wasn’t just the hockey being highlighted. It was Indigenous People’s Appreciation Night, and fans in attendance at Canadian Tire Centre were treated to various events to celebrate and engage the Algonquin Anishinaabeg Nation, the ancestral unceded land on which Canadian Tire Centre sits, according to NHL.com.
A special guest at the Canadian Tire Centre was community elder Claudette Commanda. In November, she was appointed Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, and she was leading a traditional smudging ceremony for Sens fans during the first intermission.
But she also got some time on TV, as she was interviewed during the Senators on TSN broadcast. But the interview wasn’t during one of the intermissions, but instead during the game. Half of the first period was played when the Chancellor was on TV; of course, they chose the worst timing.
Commanda was right in the middle of talking about how important the visibility of indigenous people is when she got irrupted. The LA Kings had just scored to make it 4-1, and TSN had to stop the Chancellor to instead head over to Gord Miller, who announced Viktor Arvidsson as the goalscorer.
The video of the sequence has gone viral, and everybody agrees that it’s the most awkward moment this year.
”Brutal. The goal made it 4-1 so just let her finish,” one fan said.
”You could tell Gord Miller was like ‘oh god she threw it back to me?!’” Said another.
”This is… awks,” a third added.
”That’s just gross,” said a fourth.
But many also believe that TSN has itself to blame for not putting this kind of interviews during the intermissions.
”Why is this not happening during intermission,” one said.
”Massive TSN fail doing an actual interview on a serious subject while the play is on. Dumb and disrespectful. If you’re serious about the issue, do it during intermission and cut the useless sweaty player interview,” another said.