Former Chicago Blackhawks Player Claims Being Straight And An Avid Trump Supporter Led To His Firing
With many athletes coming out of the closet or being loyal allies, traditional sports have blended with the LGBTQ community much more in recent years. We’ve seen various sports teams represent themselves in gay pride parades across the nation and some players take it a step further to wear some sort of pride representation on their uniform. However, we can guess that some members of the community simply have no interest in traditional sports or have been put off by the homophobic nuance that comes with the players, fans, and overall sports experience dating back for as long as many can remember. But now, a sports veteran is making claims that he’s been fired for being a straight man – and he’s suing his former employer for just that.
According to Variety, former professional hockey player and (now former) NBC Sports Analyst, Jeremy Roenick, is suing the major primetime news network for firing him for anti-straight and anti-republican discrimination. In December 2019, Roenick spoke with the wacky and fun team on Barstool Sports, a Millennial-targeted digital company mainly catering to sports fans and people who like to have a laugh. During his interview with them, he spoke of having a threesome with his wife and fellow NBC sports correspondent, Kathryn Tappen. He detailed the threesome in what one would probably say is typical “locker room talk” AKA there was some raunchy dialogue. Before being fired in February of this year, Roenick was forced to release a public apology for his interview. Roenick also discussed wanting to speak at the Republican National Convention, but was told by his supervisor, Sam Flood, that NBC doesn’t support Trump. Allegedly, Roenick was harassed by Flood over his support for the reigning President.
Roenick’s lawsuit lists NBC as violating the state law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Two random names in the lawsuit are figure skaters and current NBC correspondents Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. Roenick states the two are inappropriate constantly, but neither of them have been punished. Allegedly, Roenick tried arguing his comments were no worse than what normally comes out of Weir’s mouth, but Flood claimed Weir “is gay and can say whatever”. Yikes.
While Roenick may have different views compared to the perhaps more Liberal LGBTQ community, it’s difficult to make an argument against his lawsuit. On paper, it does appear that his supervisor did have a bone to pick with him – and most of us are entertained by Weir, but it’s easy to admit that he is more or less borderline inappropriate every time we see him on screen. He’s entertaining to watch and showcases much personality in what may be lackluster events, but you can’t label some language okay for some, but from others not, simply because you don’t like the person saying it. Equality isn’t a spectrum – and that’s exactly why Roenick may win his discrimination lawsuit, despite “anti-straight” being a stomach turning term.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.