WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have apologized to Saskatchewan for a derogatory remark made at the CFL team's fan forum Tuesday night.
During the annual event attended by some 300 Bomber fans, one fan referred to Regina as "the crotch of Canada." And later when new Bombers head coach Mike Kelly was talking about the trades made with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos, he picked up on the reference.
"We kind of raided the toothless, green, watermelon-helmet-wearing people from the crotch of Canada," Kelly said, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
While the fans apparently laughed at Kelly's remarks, it wasn't a laughing matter for long.
Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer issued an apology after receiving some e-mails from upset Saskatchewan residents.
"The Winnipeg Football Club apologizes to the residents of Saskatchewan and Roughrider fans for comments which emanated at the Blue Bomber fan forum," Bauer said.
"The Winnipeg Football Club holds our partners to the west in a very high regard, as we share similar corporate cultures and values in our respective status as community-sponsored teams. The comments by a fan and our head coach were truly meant in the playful spirit of our great rivalry. We do recognize that some might not have received it in the context in which it was made."
Bauer also pointed to his own roots.
"As someone who was born and raised in Saskatchewan, I share the pride of the residents," he said. "However, I know there is no disrespect meant by those who made the comments."