Former NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick has had his lawsuit against his former employer thrown out by a federal judge.
For those not in the know, Roenick was suspended and eventually fired by NBC after he made some rather graphic comments about his wife and NBC broadcaster Kathryn Tappen, while he was featured on Barstool Sports' Spittin Chiclets podcast. I won't repeat the comments here but Roenick spoke about parts of her body and described fantasizing about the possibility of bringing Tappen into he and his wife's bedroom. Tappen, although clearly a friend of the family, is Roenick's colleague at NBC Sports and was understandably uncomfortable with the rather sexual comments made by one of her colleagues. NBC made the decision to suspend Roenick from their broadcast at the time of the incident and has since fired him, leading to this current lawsuit.
In his lawsuit against NBC Roenick essentially argues that he was dismissed from his job because he's heterosexual and that NBC discriminates against heterosexual men. Roenick claimed that figure skating analyst Johnny Weir has made similar comments to his and has used sexual innuendo while on-air but has not been reprimanded by NBC ever. Basically, the judge called bullshit on that...
Specifically, Roenick pointed to a July 2, 2020, video spoof by ice skating by Wei and co-host Tara Lipinski. In it, Lipinski and Weir, who were joined by actors Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, “used a vulgar term for a woman’s groin and joked about a sexual affair,” according to Roenick’s complaint. NBC disciplined neither.
But Judge John Cronan wasn't buying it, writing, “(A) comparison of the two incidents shows that Roenick’s behavior was categorically different. Lipinski and Weir participated in a skit for NBC that included jokes about the term 'camel toe' and an ‘(o)ffice romance’ between ‘besties.’ Roenick, on the other hand, used his ‘free time’ outside of his role at NBC to tell the hosts of a Barstool Sports podcast that he 'jokingly implied’ to fellow vacationers that he had sex simultaneously with his NBC co-worker, Tappen, and his wife on multiple occasions.
"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.”
Source: The Athletic · Photo Credit: Zuma Press