What's buzzing:

The Eh Game

CTV Olympic host Brian Williams slams the IOC during Olympic opening ceremonies

Don Landry
Eh Game

View photo

.

Sportscaster Brian Williams criticized the IOC on Friday (CP photo)

Veteran TV host Brian Williams has never shied away from the tough stuff when he feels it's necessary. In 1987, after the Canadian Junior Hockey team engaged in a brawl with the Soviets at the World Championship, Williams called it a black eye for Canadian hockey, incurring the wrath of one Donald S. Cherry as well as a good portion of the nation's hockey loyalists.

[Related: Opening Ceremony truly memorable]

Again, Friday, during a telecast of the opening ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Williams spoke his mind, letting the International Olympic Committee have it. During the traditional march of the participating athletes, what had been an upbeat affair took on a serious tone as the team from Israel made its way into the stadium.

It was then that Williams teed off (rightfully, I believe) on the IOC, saying:

"As Israel prepares to enter, my position is well known. It is one that I have taken at previous Olympics. It is wrong that the IOC refuses to have a minute's silence for Israeli athletes that were slaughtered in Munich."

[More: Canadian athletes ready to compete at London Olympics]

Williams, of course, was referring to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics.

"It is a much bigger issue this year, as it's the 40th anniversary of Munich. Members of the Canadian government, yesterday, our Governor General, all calling for a moment's silence. Dr Rogge (Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC) says the ceremony is not the place to remember a tragic event, but, uh, it's tragic, however, it's one of the most significant and world changing events in Olympic history. It absolutely should have been done here. The IOC worries about politics. This event is political by its very nature."

His sentiment is shared by many and they must have felt proud of him for saying it during the IOC's big party to begin the Olympic Games. However, as with any issue, there will be detractors who disagree with his opinion, or in his decision to express it during the show.

When Williams was done, his co-host, Lisa LaFlamme, didn't endorse or decry his comments, but added to the narrative by telling viewers of one of the widows of  a victim of the terrible 1972 massacre, who spoke out on Thursday about just this issue of honour and Remembrance.

[Slideshow: A closer look at the Olympic opening production]

Immediately following that, Williams finished the conversation by saying:

"And remember, they died as Olympians."

It was a jarring and powerful moment of broadcasting, wedged in juxtaposition to the light and entertaining fare that preceded and followed it.

Williams just recently received an Order Of Canada. He wears that pin in even more deserving fashion after today's broadcast. Not every broadcaster is afforded the luxury of saying exactly what they feel, often having to answer to a hierarchy of corporate bosses. Williams has earned the right to do so, and to his credit, does not take the responsibility lightly, nor does he shrink from wielding that power.

Let the Games begin, with what needed to be said being said.

More London Olympics content on Eh Game:
Crosby's performance still resonates
Canadian swimmers confident and set for London
Five Canadian athletes with a point to prove

View Comments (457)
  • Ferrari boss takes a provocative stance

    Ferrari boss takes a provocative stance

    By Alan Baldwin BARCELONA (Reuters) - Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has taken a provocative stance, before the Formula One season has even started, in response to rumors about a clampdown on access passes for teams. Arrivabene, a marketing man … More »

    Reuters - 20 minutes ago
  • Canadian Mikael Kingsbury wins record 7th straight FIS World Cup moguls event

    Canada's Mikael Kingsbury won Sunday's dual moguls event at the FIS World Cup competition in Japan, and in doing so set a record with his seventh straight victory. Kingsbury, who secured his fourth straight overall FIS title by winning Saturday's … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 14 minutes ago
  • What's on deck today at spring training

    What's on deck today at spring training

    What to watch for today at spring training: … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 34 minutes ago
  • Sri Lanka's Herath doubtful for Australia clash

    Sri Lanka's Herath doubtful for Australia clash

    WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath is doubtful for next weekend's World Cup Pool A clash against Australia after hurting his spinning hand while bowling against England at Wellington Regional Stadium on Sunday. The left-arm … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 40 minutes ago
  • Kearney finishes 3rd to secure 6th overall moguls title

    Hannah Kearney of the United States finished third in Sunday's freestyle World Cup dual moguls event to clinch her sixth overall moguls title. Kearney beat Canada's Alex-Anne Gagnon in the small final to earn 60 points, a result that gives her an … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 11 minutes ago