Roenick's lawsuit against NBC thrown out

Published June 9, 2021 at 7:08 PM

It's a good news/bad news situation for Jeremy Roenick in his ongoing battle against his former employer NBC. Roenick was fired as a hockey analyst after making some remarks about co-worker Kathryn Tappen on the podcast Spittin' Chiclets and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the broadcaster.

In December of 2019, Roenick joked about being on vacation with his wife and Tappen, implying the three of them would have threesomes. Tappen herself called the remarks disgusting. After being suspended for a few months, NBC announced Roenick would not return. Roenick filed the lawsuit stating he was held to a higher standard for being heterosexual, pointing to jokes made by ice skating commentators Johnny Weir, who is gay, and Tara Lipinski. Both were appearing in a comedy skit at the time.

"Simply put, neither Lipinski nor Weir joked about having sex with a co-worker. Roenick did. Whether these two incidents were 'of comparable seriousness,' is not even close," said Judge John Cronan in his ruling to throw out that part of the lawsuit.

However, part of Roenick's lawsuit claims he stood up for Tappen when his boss, Sam Flood, made demeaning remarks to and about her. Roenick believes that was a major factor in his firing. Judge Cronan ruled that part of the lawsuit can continue.

"Roenick says that his boss, Sam Flood, made 'discriminatory and harassing statements' to Kathryn Tappen," Cronan wrote. "Flood 'criticized Tappen for her performance as a commentator and broadcaster when (Tappen), for example, would accidentally mispronounce the name of a player or coach'."

"These claims are based on the allegation that defendants terminated Roenick '(s)hortly after' Roenick complained to Flood about Flood's 'discriminatory and harassing statements made to Tappen based on Tappen's sex/gender,'" Cronan wrote. "The complaint sufficiently alleges that NBC retaliated against Roenick and that Flood aided and abetted such conduct."

There's no word on when the two sides will actually argue the lawsuit in court.

Source: The Athletic
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