Jeremy Roenick Claims NBC Firing Was Anti-Straight Discrimination

Paola Ditto
Luglio 20, 2020

Former NHLer Jeremy Roenick filed a lawsuit against NBC in the Manhattan Supreme Court after the broadcasting company fired him in February over inappropriate comments made on a podcast, according to Priscilla DeGregory of the New York Post.

He is accusing NBC Sports of violating the state's law against discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. "If it really came to fruition, it would be really good, but it will never happen".

The lawsuit says that while Roenick was sacked for his comments about Tappen, the network responded differently after NBC figure skating commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir made a comedy promo for the network's streaming service that referred to a vulgar term for vagina and other sexual remarks along with footage of Olympic figure skater Bradie Tennell, according to Variety.

Later in the interview, Roenick called Sharp "so beautiful" and said: "I'd have to think about it if he asked me.I wouldn't say no right away", and then seemed to contrast Sharp's appearance with his and Carter's. He issued an apology, and his supervisor, Sam Flood, subsequently informed him that he was sacked.

The suit also claims that during the 2018 Olympics "after hearing colorful commentary regarding the body parts of ice skaters from analyst/commentator Johnny Weir" Roenick asked his boss Sam Flood about the remarks and Flood responded that Weir, "is gay and can say whatever", the court papers allege.

Roenick's lawsuit claims former figure skating Olympians Lipinski and Weir said equally disturbing things on a July 2 video of 1998 Olympic gold medalist figure skater Bradie Tennell. The executive allegedly responded that Weir "is gay and can say whatever".

Roenick's suit also points to a promotional video featuring Weir and on-air partner Tara Lipinski that included vulgar language; Weir and Lipinski were not suspended or fired.

A vulger term for a woman's groin was used during the video, along with the mention of a joke of a sexual affair between the two longtime ice-skating friends.

"In hindsight, this sketch could have been completed with generic images", he said, referring to the Tennell images, the Post reported. The executive allegedly replied: "I'm not saying what you can do". You know who you work for.

U.S. Figure Skating released a statement asserting that it "does not condone the description user in this parody" while NBC Sports spokesperson Dan Masonson emphasized that the video was a spoof. You work for NBC.

He also alleges that the network discriminated against him because he was an outspoken Trump supporter, claiming that Flood had previously made remarks about Trump to him, such as "your boy is messing up this country". That would not look good on your NBC record'.

Roenick believes that his support of Trump also lended to his firing.

Roenick played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League with five National Hockey League teams, including the Los Angeles Kings, before segueing to broadcasting. He had been an analyst at NBC Sports since 2010.

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