Back in June, our nominally conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to discriminate against employees on the basis of sex or sexual orientation, making it exceedingly difficult for a company to fire the guy caught getting freaky with the office copier. Perhaps now we’ll find out if those protections extend to normal people.
Former NHL star and sports analyst Jeremy Roenick has filed a suit claiming that NBC Sports fired him “because of his sex and sexual orientation,” according the The Wrap. He’s a straight guy. Worse, he is, according to the suit, a Trump supporter.
The trouble started in February when, on a podcast, he made a tasteless but harmless joke about wanting to engage in a threesome with his wife and colleague Kathryn Tappen. He apologized. But he was suspended and then fired.
Roenick is also accusing NBC Sports of a double standard. From The Wrap:
In the lawsuit filed in New York on Friday, Roenick says during the 2018 Winter Olympics, he asked NBC Sports executive Sam Flood about “colorful commentary” he heard from analyst Johnny Weir “regarding the body parts of ice skaters.” Roenick says that Flood responded by saying Weir “is gay and can say whatever.”
Roenick also points to a story from earlier this month about a video where Weir and Tara Lipinski (another NBC commentator) used “a vulgar term for a woman’s groin and joked about a sexual affair” when talking about Olympic bronze medalist Bradie Tennell.
“Weir is gay and can say whatever” certainly has the ring of truth to it. Back during those Olympics, the media were swooning over the catty, gossip-girl vibe of the Weir-Lipinski broadcast duo.
We’ll see whether Roenick has a case or not. Equal protection under the law doesn’t generally extend to white male Republicans these days, so don’t hold your breath.