Jon Cooper has been the Tampa Bay Lightning coach for 11 seasons. His 'skirts' comment is raising eyebrows. | Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is on thin ice after his post-loss rant Monday night using a same-old, tired line full of misogyny and casual homophobia.

During the game, two goals by the Lightning were canceled by the officials due to allegedly illegal contact with the goalie.

Cooper didn’t agree that the contact was enough to cancel the goals. He said boxing out in the NHL is like “prison rules” amongst the players, but he argued the goalies are getting unfair protection.

Then he resorted to this:

“We might as well put skirts on them then if that’s how it’s going to be.”

The obvious (subconscious?) slam was equating being “soft” on the ice with being a woman on the ice.

Meanwhile, the Professional Women’s Hockey League is setting attendance records for women’s hockey this season.

There’s also the issue of homophobia in Cooper’s comment. For years, gay men have been told they’re too feminine and not strong enough for professional sports. Saying to put a “skirt” on players for not being tough enough smacks of homophobia as well.

Cooper on Wednesday explained himself. From Joe Smith:

“It’s one of those moments if you could just reach back and grab the words back, I would have. As a father of two, especially a massive supporter of women’s hockey, I have girls that play sports. Quite frankly, it was wrong and I had go and explain myself to my girls.”

Still, damage can be done. It’s those kinds of comments that contribute to a well-documented locker-room culture in hockey that still leaves the NHL the only pro league in North America to never have a gay current or former athlete come out publicly.

The Lightning lost the game to the cross-state Panthers, 6-1. So the two canceled goals didn’t necessarily translate directly to the loss. That loss eliminated Tampa Bay from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Still, Cooper was arguing the canceled goals were emotionally demoralized over the loss of “momentum.”

Cooper has been a very successful head coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In his 11 seasons, the team has never had a losing season and they’ve won the Stanley Cup twice.

For their part, the Lightning have had Pride Nights and other LGBTQ outreach that goes beyond that. I’ve personally been part of an event speaking to team employees about inclusion. Plus, team leader Steven Stamkos slammed the NHL for banning Pride warm-up jerseys last year.

Hopefully Cooper sees the issue with this kind of language and keeps it out of not just press conferences, but his mouth entirely, going forward.