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Rogers Sportsnet parts ways with broadcaster over same-sex marriage Tweets

May 12, 2011, 12:21 PM EDT

Sean Avery Getty Images

Wherever you stand on the subject of same-sex marriage, it’s important to remember that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to discuss the issue. Hopefully that is the ultimate lesson underneath all the hubbub surrounding Uptown Sports’ Twitter comments regarding Sean Avery’s commercial supporting marriage rights.

Apparently the fallout from that debate wasn’t limited to public opinion regarding that agency, as it appears that at least one person lost his job while expressing support for Uptown Sports. Rogers Sportsnet parted ways with TV host Damian Goddard after he used to Twitter to voice his support for the agency’s opposition to Avery’s stance.

The TV network was quick to voice its own disapproval for Goddard’s Tweet before severing ties with Goddard on Wednesday.

The TV network then issued its own tweet, saying: “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.” On Wednesday, it severed ties with Goddard.

In a statement, Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford said: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”

If you’re curious about Goddard’s reactions, it appears that he hasn’t deleted his reactions to the firing at this time. Perhaps the situation was about more than just his comments about Avery and Uptown Sports, but this case is another sobering reminder that it’s wise to be careful about your comments on social media.

(I can’t believe I’m going to say this but … yes, it’s actually better to share inane updates about your lunch plans that it is to discuss controversial social issues on Twitter.)

  1. macdonaldbank1 - May 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity. Our early human ancestors; on this earth … go back more than 6 million years … 5,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews. Christianity is basically a 2011 year old fictional cult.
    In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate & market Christianity – a fantasy – which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world.

    The evil writings in Leviticus 18:22 … against gays – depict: “P” … “priestly rules” & expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds … to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public — but to priests. Leviticus was written long after Moses — 600BC.

    The pope and churches fully aware that Leviticus 18:22 applies to priests only … refuse to remove this stigma … maliciously persecuting gays. Kids bullied into suicide …! Being black or left-handed or being gay is just as natural. If the black community or women had it written that they should be put to death; how would they like that?

  2. macdonaldbank1 - May 12, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return … it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

    I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Onward christian soldiers; I think not. Such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross?

    It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy.

  3. macdonaldbank1 - May 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    This holier than thou – written so there it shall be — fallacy; must be stopped!
    It is a criminal offence to cause harm onto others physically or with written items … the bible and torah have been getting away with this for ages.
    This bogus religious filth should be banned. It exists as a tax exempt structure which discriminates against human rights. The pope, bishops and mormons are cult members promoting discrimination against minorities. Perhaps religious establishments have pushed too far from San Francisco to Canada — and it may backfire to such a degree that the churches should be shut down!
    By enjoying their tax exempt status and benefits from the state it also puts churches at the mercy of the state; to be forced to adhere to the human rights laws. Religion is thriving like a cancerous growth on society that should be stopped in its tracks; outlawed & banned.
    Tell them to take that cross and shove it where the sun don’t shine and pay their taxes along the way before they take that cross down forever with its final station; extinction.

  4. mark090910 - May 12, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    I’m a gay male. I think it’s sickening to see that a straight guy can’t voice his opposition to same-sex
    marriage without risking the loss of his job. Free speech should rule. No one should feel pressured to toe the line on any subject.

    • spiffy53 - May 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      wrong. the business of America is Business. you can state your opinions all you want, but in the end, if you do not work for yourself, you represent your employer. if the employer covets as large a client base as possible and there is some nitwit running his fool mouth off that decreases the companies possible client base, then he can become his own boss after getting let go and then say whatever he wants.

      • mark090910 - May 12, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        It was just a “Tweet” from his personal account, from what I can see. I think firing him for that is going overboard.

      • spiffy53 - May 12, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        technically, he was a Free Lance Contractor. i just think that opinions need to be tempered with your audience. if your employer does not care, then have at it. however, most companies have specific codes of conduct for employees to follow. i can guarantee you if the CEO of the Home Depot said that women should stay in the kitchen on CNBC, then i am pretty sure he would be the CEO of his own Depot and not the Home Depot the following day. i know i do not shop or watch things based on inflamatory comments by individuals. mel gibson has a movie coming out, it will get 1/3rd the audience it would have gotten if he was not such an idiot. i am sure the movie studio is thrilled at their contract with mel gibson.

    • cheeco111 - Jul 15, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      Hello Mark, I agree with you that a straight person should be able to express their opinions on any subject without losing their job. To other comments regarding Damian Goddard’s employment record with Rogers – Rogers had met with D. Goddard only the week before discussing his good work and contract. This was more about Rogers worrying about Rogers and putting the screws to a reputable broadcastor who merely agreed with what Reynolds said. Sean Avery did not get fired over his comments. Agent Reynolds did not get fired, but retarded Rogers Sportsnet, fires Mr. Goddard. Let’s focus on the bigger picture, which is denying the right for freedom of speech.

  5. yourmom2011 - May 12, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Listen, I am not going to diss you for being a homosexual…. but realistically look
    at what this guy posted, Damien only stated a personal view of what traditional
    marriage is. Just because you enjoy playing with other boys doesn’t mean
    he can’t have his view….. You may so freely support the GLBT community,
    and you so freely have been granted that right in this country. This man
    should be given the same favor!

  6. nhlbruins90 - May 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    As much as I advocate free speech and detest political correctness, I think spiffy53 is right. If you’re a public person and work for an organization that has a public image to protect, what you say in a public forum like Twitter can directly harm your employer. As a private employer, paying you with their own dollars, it’s reasonable that they expect you to do no harm their brand.

    If I was a broadcaster for a Christian Network, and I Tweeted my enthusiastic support for gay marriage, I wouldn’t expect to be working for that employer much longer. It’s not that I don’t have a right to my own opinions, it’s just that the majority of viewers would be ticked off and would probably switch the channel whenever I was on. I’d be a liability to my employer, and they don’t pay for liabilities.

    Making a living requires compromise, no matter what you do. For the plumber, he makes great money, but occasionally has to stick his hand in a bowl full of sh*t. For the college grad working in a cubicle, he can pay the rent (just barely), but probably wonders why he spent four years and several hundred grand to be the modern day equivalent of a factory worker. In either case, nobody will care what he says on Twitter.

    For a TV host, you make good money and everybody knows your name. You get seated quicker at the best restaurants. Occasionally the cops let you slide on a ticket. People smile at you on the street quite often. When you fly, it’s easier to get an upgrade to first class. Always looks good to have celebs in first class. There’s no heavy lifting in this job. That’s what associate producers are for. You’ll see your name in print, that’s always nice for the ego. Nice work if you can get it. Of course, you’ll have to keep a low profile on that Twitter thing. Just one of those compromises you make to earn a paycheck.

    If I were lucky enough to … say, be the play-by-play guy for the Bruins or Versus or NBC (what a dream job!), I would gladly abide by the rules of the road that my employer laid down. And if I ever felt the rules were too restrictive, and I couldn’t compromise anymore, I’d just as gladly go work in an anonymous cubicle and Tweet my heart out.

    • djha90 - May 13, 2011 at 11:47 PM

      I didnt know that Rogers Sport Network was a Gay Nework — as your comparison to a christian network would insinuate. Why is it PC for gays to state their beliefs when ever and where ever — but when a christian states theirs — all hell breaks loose (no pun intended)? The movie “Left Behind” is starting to look less and less like a work of fiction

      • nhlbruins90 - May 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

        Rogers Sport Network is a private company, that’s my point. I don’t know if they’re gay, straight or all neutered. They get to hire and fire who they want, based on their self-interest.

        The same freedom applies to any company. At least that’s the freedom I advocate, and why I detest PC. When that freedom is restricted, we all lose.

        So, I really don’t get your criticism. I think Christians (like me, and I guess you) should be able to freely express their views and run their companies as they wish. In a free market, including a free market of ideas, there’s room for everybody.

  7. stewartiii - May 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    NewsBusters: Former Olympian, Canadian Sports Anchor Blacklisted by Gays
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/05/15/former-olympian-canadian-sports-anchor-blacklisted-gays

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