Jeremy Roenick, former NHL player and NBC sports commentator, has lost his case against NBC Sports for wrongful termination when a New York State Federal Judge failed to buy his excuse that he was fired for being a "heterosexual man."
Roenick was suspended in 2019 after making a joke about a threesome with a coworker, violating a "morals clause" of his contract. He was terminated shortly thereafter.
Roenick sued several NBC Sports affiliates, including its parent company, Comcast, for what he claimed was "gender and sexual orientation discrimination" because the comment that got him fired involved heterosexual sex.
NBC Sports and Comcast immediately moved to dismiss all claims against them, which was granted in part by U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan.
Part of Roenick's preponderance of evidence involved fictional judges played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins in conversation with Tara Lipinksi and Johnny Weir that contained sexual humor, but the judge said that there was no "comparable seriousness" between his situation and the staged comedic situation.
"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, [Kathryn] Tappen, and his wife on multiple occasions."
"Simply put, neither Lipinski nor Weir joked about having sex with a co-worker. Roenick did."
Several parts of Roenick's lawsuit still stand, but none of them hinge on discrimination against straight people.