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Jeremy Roenick accuses NBC Sports of heterosexual discrimination in wrongful termination lawsuit

Hockey star and former NBC Sports commentator Jeremy Roenick is suing the network for wrongful termination, claiming they discriminated against him as a straight man after he made a sexual joke about co-host. 

Roenick was fired from the network earlier in the year after he appeared on a Barstool Sports’ Spittin’ Chiclets podcast and said that it would be ‘really good’ to have a threesome with his wife and co-host Kathryn Tappen, 39.

He claims that while his remarks were quickly deemed problematic, ‘colorful commentary’ used by ice-skater and NBC analyst Johnny Weir was ignored by executives. 

Jeremy Roenick was fired from the network earlier in the year after he appeared on a Barstool Sports’ podcast and made sexual comments about his co-host Kathryn Tappen

NBC Sports suspended Roenick indefinitely without pay in late December after he made a series of questionable remarks about fellow hockey broadcasters Kathryn Tappen, Patrick Sharp and Anson Carter during a recent appearance on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast.  

On the podcast, Roenick discussed a vacation to Portugal with his wife and Tappen where he made repeated references to the NBC Sports anchor’s appearance and joked about the possibility of the three of them having sex together.

Roenick said: ‘I play it off like we’re all going to bed together every night, the three of us. If it really came to fruition, that would really be good. But it’s never going to happen.’

On the podcast, Roenick discussed a vacation to Portugal with his wife and Tappen where he made repeated references to the NBC Sports anchor's appearance and joked about the possibility of the three of them having sex together

On the podcast, Roenick discussed a vacation to Portugal with his wife and Tappen where he made repeated references to the NBC Sports anchor’s appearance and joked about the possibility of the three of them having sex together

The 50-year-old was let go from the network in February by executive Sam Flood, soon after releasing an apology video (Pictured with his wife)

 The 50-year-old was let go from the network in February by executive Sam Flood, soon after releasing an apology video (Pictured with his wife)

Later in the interview, Roenick called Sharp ‘so beautiful’ and said: ‘I’d have to think about it if he asked me…I wouldn’t say no right away’, and then seemed to contrast Sharp’s appearance with his and Carter’s.

The 50-year-old was let go from the network in February by executive Sam Flood, soon after releasing an apology video. 

Roenick claims in the suit that he told executive Sam Flood about 'colorful commentary' made by figure skater Johnny Weir during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Flood is said to have allegedly responded that Weir 'is gay and can say whatever'

Roenick claims in the suit that he told executive Sam Flood about ‘colorful commentary’ made by figure skater Johnny Weir during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Flood is said to have allegedly responded that Weir ‘is gay and can say whatever’

The lawsuit was filed with the New York Supreme Court on Friday, Variety reports, and claims that NBC violated state law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. 

Roenick claims in the suit that he told Flood about ‘colorful commentary’ made by figure skater Johnny Weir during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Flood is said to have allegedly responded that Weir ‘is gay and can say whatever.’

The suit – which seeks unspecified damages – also mentions a controversial promotional video that NBC green-lit, that was filmed last month and included Weir and fellow NBC figure skating commentary Tara Lipinski. ‘Pitch Perfect’ actors Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins also appeared in the parody video, USA Today reports.  

Filmed for The At-Home Variety Show on the Peacock streaming service, the two ice skating icons participated in the spoof video of 2018 U.S. national figure skating champion and Olympic team bronze medalist Bradie Tennell. 

A vulger term for a woman’s groin was used during the video, along with the mention of a joke of a sexual affair between the two longtime ice-skating friends.

U.S. Figure Skating released a statement asserting that it ‘does not condone the description user in this parody’ while NBC Sports spokesperson Dan Masonson emphasized that the video was a spoof. 

The suit - which seeks unspecified damages - also mentions a controversial promotional video that NBC green-lit, that was filmed last month and included Weir and fellow NBC figure skating commentary Tara Lipinski

The suit – which seeks unspecified damages – also mentions a controversial promotional video that NBC green-lit, that was filmed last month and included Weir and fellow NBC figure skating commentary Tara Lipinski

‘In retrospect, this sketch could have been completed with generic footage,’ Masonson added.     

Roenick, an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, also states in the suit that he asked Flood if he could speak at the Republican National Convention in 2016.

He claims 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 hockey player also alleges that Flood made derogatory remarks about Trump, including one comment where he supposedly told Roenick that ‘your boy is messing up this country.’ 

Roenick believes that his support of Trump also lended to his firing. The suit states that NBC fired Roenick without good cause, failing to give him a reasonable opportunity to correct the violation.  

Roenick played 20 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flyers, Sharks and Kings before moving into television. He had been an analyst at NBC Sports since 2010.       

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk