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NBC Sports commentator fired for inappropriate sexual remarks suing for 'anti-straight discrimination'

Former NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick claims his case was dealt with differently because he was a straight man.

2020-07-20

A former NBC Sports commentator who was fired for making inappropriate sexual remarks about a colleague is suing his former employer for wrongful dismissal, claiming he was discriminated against because of his heterosexuality.

Jeremy Roenick, an American former professional ice hockey turned NBC Sports analyst, was fired from the network in February over comments made on the 'Spittin’ Chiclets' podcast in which he joked about having a threesome with his colleague Kathryn Tappen.

"I’m swimming with my wife and Kathryn, and they’ve got their bikinis on, and they look f***in’ smokin’," Roenick said on the podcast in December. "Ass and boobs everywhere. It’s great."

Roenick (centre) was fired from NBC in February after making inappropriate sexual remarks about colleague Kathryn Tappen (left) (Image: NBC Sports Group)

Roenick was suspended following the incident and issued an apology before being told by his supervisor, Sam Flood, that he had been fired.

In a lawsuit filed at the New York Supreme Court on Friday (17 July), Roenick, 50, claims that NBC violated state law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, Variety reports.

 
 
 
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Roenick claims in the suit that he told Flood that gay figure skater Johnny Weir was also responsible for "colorful commentary" during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Flood is said to have allegedly responded that Weir "is gay and can say whatever."

Roenick claims the "colourful commentary" of gay figure skater-turned commentator Johnny Weir is evidence that he was discriminated against on the grounds of his heterosexuality

Roenick also claims his support for US president Donald Trump played a part in his firing.

He claims when he asked Flood for permission to speak at the Republican National Convention in 2016. Flood responded: "I’m not saying what you can do. You know who you work for. You work for NBC. That would not look good on your NBC record."

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for Roenick, claiming that NBC fired him without good cause and failed to give him a reasonable opportunity to make amends for his remarks.