Former NBC Sports commentator Jeremy Roenick has filed a wrongful termination suit against the network, claiming he was fired for being a man and straight.
Roenick was suspended and then fired by NBC Sports earlier this year for sexual comments he made on the Barstool Sports podcast Spittin' Chiclets about wanting to have a threesome with his former colleague Kathryn Tappen.
Now, in a lawsuit filed last week, Roenick is claiming his firing stemmed from discrimination against him for being straight, on the basis that NBC figure skating commentator Johnny Weir faced no repercussions when he used "a vulgar term for a woman's groin and joked about a sexual affair" to co-commentator Tara Lipinski at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Roenick claims that when he reported Weir's behavior to NBC Sports executive Sam Flood, he was told that since Weir is gay, he "can say whatever."
The lawsuit constitutes a marked shift in Roenick's response. In the immediate wake of his firing in February, Roenick was contrite about the sexual comments he made about Tappen.
The comments came during an interview in which Roenick told a story about people mistaking him, his wife and Tappen as a "throuple" while they vacationed together.
"I play it off like we're 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."
Roenick went on to comment on how aroused he was by how "f*ckin' smokin'" his wife and Tappen looked in the pool together.
"[There was] a** and boobs everywhere, it's great."
Despite his previous apology, Roenick's suit claims that Tappen told him she wasn't offended by the comments he made and only complained about them after NBC and a woman's organization pressured her to do so.
His suit alleges he was fired "because of his sex and sexual orientation." Roenick also states he suspects his support for Donald Trump in the 2016 election may have factored into his firing as well.
On Twitter, there wasn't much sympathy for Roenick.
Hey @Jeremy_Roenick If you ever want to have a conversation about actual discrimination. I’m happy to talk to you… https://t.co/s7SSa7fpCI— Brock McGillis (@Brock McGillis)1595026439.0
Jeremy Roenick confusing toxic masculinity with being straight explains a lot about guys. https://t.co/ABDnr50IaZ— Daniela Battistella (@Daniela Battistella)1595025027.0
2020 just continues to get more strange by the day You can’t go on a tone deaf podcast like @spittinchiclets & ran… https://t.co/uWpWNKbeMo— Daniel Carcillo (@Daniel Carcillo)1595043457.0
Basically, telling a straight man he can’t publicly muse about having sex with a coworker is what Jeremy would call… https://t.co/4KDdTrNB3s— Scott Schmidt (@Scott Schmidt)1595086553.0
no need to read this story, somehow you'll innately get the whole thing just by looking at his face https://t.co/GLWIr6kWEl— maura quint (@maura quint)1595026373.0
Lol Jeremy Roenick did what— Steph Driver (@Steph Driver)1595030270.0
You didn’t get fired for being straight!! You got fired for making A threesome joke on air about your cohost and wi… https://t.co/4JOWNlpRHr— said pena 🇪🇨 (@said pena 🇪🇨)1595175085.0
I remain convinced that Jeremy Roenick is, in fact, a sweaty country ham with a spectrum of hair cuts that eerily a… https://t.co/bb7HJ0axhL— Mike Murphy (@Mike Murphy)1595026758.0
Ummmm. It doesn't work that way. Disgruntled sports commentator sues NBC, says he was fired for being straight… https://t.co/uVvkXmPVmE— McG 🏳️🌈 ✊🏽 🇺🇲 🐝 #TeamPete is in quarantine (@McG 🏳️🌈 ✊🏽 🇺🇲 🐝 #TeamPete is in quarantine)1595277008.0
Prior to his time at NBC Sports, Roenick was a professional hockey player in the NHL from 1988 until 2009. He joined NBC Sports in 2010.