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LETTER: Coach's comment a poor attempt at humour, nothing more

'That same quote is actually used by Herb Brooks's character in the movie Miracle.'

Re: "St. Albert hockey coach suspended for 'inappropriate conduct,'" The Gazette, Jan. 12.

I was surprised to see this article, and even more surprised at how The Gazette chose to report this story.

Let me start by saying that Paul MacDonald is one of my best friends, and someone I have had the good fortune to coach hockey with off and on over the past 10 years. I have never heard him make any sort of comment in the dressing room, or around any players, or anywhere at all, in all the time we have coached together. He clearly made a poor attempt at humour in an email, which was a mistake that he owned and apologized for.

That’s where The Gazette story should have ended because that is the only inappropriate behaviour that he demonstrated. The Gazette, and its source, completely twisted the context of the quote that he used in the dressing room. The “monkey on a football” quote that Paul used describes “something done extremely ineptly, or something that shows a lot of effort but seems to have no useful outcome.” That definition is right off of Google, by the way. That same quote is actually used by Herb Brooks's character in the movie Miracle.

The best way I can think to describe The Gazette's handling of this situation would be to use the quote that Paul used in that dressing room, but I don’t want to give you fuel for another article.

Niall O'Donoghue, St. Albert