Judge tosses element of Jeremy Roenick fit vs. NBC, enables part to proceed

A federal choose dismissed previous NHL commentator Jeremy Roenick’s grievance that NBC fired him because he is a heterosexual gentleman, but permitted the ex-player’s cost to move forward that the community retaliated against him for objecting to comments his manager allegedly manufactured about his female counterpart, Kathryn Tappen.

Ironically, it was offensive remarks Roenick manufactured about Tappen that induced the difficulty. Roenick appeared on an episode of a Barstool Sporting activities podcast, “Spittin’ Chiclets,” on Dec. 17, 2019. He informed a story about a latest vacation he took with his wife and Tappen, and he “joked with fellow vacationers” that he would “go to bed” with both equally his wife and Tappen, implying they all had sexual intercourse.

NBC fired Roenick, who subsequently submitted a lawsuit claiming, among the other points, his employer held him as a heterosexual male to a increased standard. He pointed to a July 2, 2020, video spoof by ice skating commentators Johnny Weir, who is homosexual, and Tara Lipinski. In it, Lipinski and Weir, who had been joined by actors Elizabeth Banking companies and John Michael Higgins, “used a vulgar time period for a woman’s groin and joked about a sexual affair,” according to Roenick’s complaint. NBC disciplined neither.

But Decide John Cronan wasn’t acquiring it, composing, “(A) comparison of the two incidents reveals that Roenick’s behavior was categorically distinct. Lipinski and Weir participated in a skit for NBC that integrated jokes about the phrase ‘camel toe’ and an ‘(o)ffice romance’ among ‘besties.’ Roenick, on the other hand, used his ‘free time’ outdoors of his function at NBC to inform the hosts of a Barstool Sporting activities podcast that he ‘jokingly implied’ to fellow vacationers that he experienced sex simultaneously with his NBC co-employee, Tappen, and his wife on a number of events. 

“Only place, neither Lipinski nor Weir joked about possessing sexual intercourse with a co-employee. Roenick did. Irrespective of whether these two incidents have been ‘of similar seriousness,’ is not even close.”

Judge Cronan did enable Roenick’s charge that NBC retaliated versus him simply because he stood up for Tappen to keep on. Roenick alleges his boss, Sam Flood — who is sued together with NBC — would demean Tappen.

“Roenick suggests that his boss, Sam Flood, manufactured ‘discriminatory and harassing statements’ to Kathryn Tappen,” Cronan wrote. “Flood ‘criticized Tappen for her general performance as a commentator and broadcaster when (Tappen), for illustration, would unintentionally mispronounce the name of a player or coach.’

“These promises are based on the allegation that defendants terminated Roenick ‘(s)hortly after’ Roenick complained to Flood about Flood’s ‘discriminatory and harassing statements designed to Tappen based on Tappen’s intercourse/gender,’” Cronan wrote. “The complaint sufficiently alleges that NBC retaliated towards Roenick and that Flood aided and abetted this sort of conduct.”