A champion professional lacrosse team took a shot at critics opposing controversial Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by singing it during halftime of an exhibition game during the weekend.
The Saskatchewan Rush host a singalong for fans at halftime in each of their home games. Against the Calgary Roughnecks on Saturday, the team encouraged attendees to sing the classic tune as the Rush players held a fake newspaper with the song title across the top.
The team posted photos on its Facebook page with the caption: “Have you heard? Baby, it’s cold outside.”
The song has come under fire over the last month for lyrics that some call troubling. Critics say the song may send the wrong message about consent.
Bruce Urban, the team owner, said the intention was to poke fun at how sensitive the world has become, according to the Canadian Press. Urban called “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” a “flirtatious, fun Christmas song.”
“For those people who are sensitive, I get it. I’m all for a movement that talks about proper and equal rights for men and women…but we need to keep in the limits and not get carried away as well,” Urban said.
However, social media users didn’t see eye-to-eye with Urban’s point of view.
One Twitter user said the Rush’s decision to play the song was “tone deaf, loutish and reinforces the ‘dumb, privileged male athlete’ stereotype.”
On Facebook, one woman commented that the move was “silly.”
“Look at these white men getting uppitty (sic) about something pretty much insignificant. Why not put this kind of effort into (something) that matters? There are a lot homeless folks that could use energy like this to help them when it’s cold outside,” the person wrote.
Other fans appeared to support the team’s decision to sing the song.
The Christmas song was written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and won an Oscar for “Best Original Song” in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter.”
But in late November, Ohio radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 announced it was pulling the song from its music rotation after receiving a call from a listener saying the holiday classic may be inappropriate in the #MeToo era.
Pulling the song also sparked a major backlash, leading to some stations, such as KOIT in California, to reinstate the tune on its holiday playlist lineup.
Several radio stations in Canada have also pulled the song, according to the Canadian Press.
The Rush are the defending National Lacrosse League champions and are set to get their season underway Dec. 28 against the New England Black Wolves.
Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.