FanDuel - WFBC

May 12, 2011

Broadcaster Loses Job After Tweets In Support of Reynolds: I said it the other day on this issue: The vast majority of us would lose our jobs for comments like those made by Todd Reynolds. This is proof, and I support the organization's move.

posted by Tinman to hockey at 11:33 AM - 44 comments

Why do people think that they won't suffer repercussions for publicly wading into controversial topics? In a media organization as well? It boggles the mind.

posted by bperk at 12:01 PM on May 12

Only foolish people think private corporations have to allow 1st Amendment (or in this instance, Canada's version of same) free speech to their employees. Of course if Reynolds had tweeted in support of Avery and then been fired somehow I doubt the same people would be making protests.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:34 PM on May 12

My synopsis from a double-post: The Canadian broadcaster Rogers Sportsnet has fired longtime sports TV host Damian Goddard after he posted on Twitter in defense of NHL agent Todd Reynolds' opposition to gay marriage. "I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage," Goddard tweeted, drawing complaints that prompted Sportsnet to announce that he did not speak for the company. Goddard later posted, "To those who have been ... well ... critical of my stance, God bless you. You are all in my prayers, and I am so sad for the pain in your lives."

posted by rcade at 02:57 PM on May 12

I love people who disguise a "fuck you" as a compassionate religious sentiment.

posted by rcade at 02:59 PM on May 12

When a Christian says he will "pray for you" it's his way of telling you to fuck off without using any actual profanity.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:01 PM on May 12

So my mother is actually telling me to fuck off? Next time she tells me she's praying for me I'm going to give her a piece of my mind.

posted by tron7 at 03:10 PM on May 12

"To those who have been ... well ... critical of my stance, God bless you. You are all in my prayers, and I am so sad for the pain in your lives."

What?

posted by yerfatma at 03:28 PM on May 12

From Goddard's Twitter account today:

It is times like these when I am so thankful for my Roman Catholic faith. I would be COMPLETELY lost without it.... oh, and another thing..

oh, and another thing..try getting your own house in order before being critical of how others lead their lives.

posted by tommytrump at 04:00 PM on May 12

ahh, another douchecanoe

posted by Demophon at 04:58 PM on May 12

Speech is free
as long as you agree
with me.
Anything else
keep to yourself.
-- Robin Rayg

posted by graymatters at 06:58 PM on May 12

It is times like these when I am so thankful for my Roman Catholic faith. I would be COMPLETELY lost without it

Which, in general, is who religion prays on... the completely lost.

posted by justgary at 07:10 PM on May 12

Pray/prey.

I see what you did there.

posted by owlhouse at 11:14 PM on May 12

Of course if Reynolds had tweeted in support of Avery and then been fired somehow I doubt the same people would be making protests.

Of course. And the same people wouldn't be exalting in someone's firing for stating their opinion, right?

posted by tselson at 12:22 AM on May 13

The comments on that thread depress me. The first one says about how is it any of Sportsnet's business what he said on his personal feed.

All together now... 1... 2... 3...

HE REPRESENTS THE COMPANY!!!!

Admittedly it's only a PR move on Rogers part but still, nice to see one of these bigoted dipshits get what's coming. Enjoy being unemployed asshole.

I mean really, I know multiple gay couples who've been together way WAY longer than any hetro marriage I know. No gay marriage has ever hurt any straight marriage. Someones ability to marry their same sex lover has absolutely no effect on my marriage.

And my parents, both religious, got divorced. Yeah, gotta love the SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE that people hold so dear! (And it was their second marriage on both sides too.)

And if it was the opposite, he'd been fired for being pro gay marriage... Well that's just supporting two humans who love each other being able to legally be together and have the benefits of others who are in love. Big difference from espousing religion and sanctity, which is just taking HATE and putting a pretty dress on it.

posted by Drood at 04:39 AM on May 13

If a company doesn't want to be associated with what an employee is saying on his own time in public, it has the right to fire the person.

But as obnoxious as Goddard sounds, his views are not so far outside the norm that they ought to merit his firing. His religious objection to gay marriage is shared by a large (though shrinking, thank God) number of people. He did not express his objection in a hateful way.

When companies are allowing and encouraging their employees to use social media to interact with the public without a filter, they should be more tolerant of what their employees say. I think Rogers overreacted here.

posted by rcade at 07:25 AM on May 13

The comments on that thread depress me.

I was thinking the same thing. I couldn't believe those comments were actually in support of Damian Goddard and people thinking that a lawsuit should be filed for expressing his opinion.

All together now... 1... 2... 3...

HE REPRESENTS THE COMPANY!!!!

Well said!

posted by BornIcon at 07:36 AM on May 13

his views are not so far outside the norm that they ought to merit his firing.

That its in the social norm doesn't make it less discriminatory.

He did not express his objection in a hateful way.

The comment itself is hateful. The manner of expression makes no difference.

they should be more tolerant

If by 'they' you mean Goddard I completely agree.

To those who have been ... well ... critical of my stance, God bless you. You are all in my prayers, and I am so sad for the pain in your lives.

This guys a freakin' nutjob.

posted by justgary at 07:42 AM on May 13

The comment itself is hateful.

Was opposition to gay marriage hateful in 1989? I'm a liberal who is strongly pro-gay rights. Marriage wasn't even on the radar back then. Under 12 percent supported gay marriage rights.

Defining opposition to gay marriage as hate is a hell of a shift, given where we were as a society not that long ago.

I also think it does not change minds. Tell someone he's hateful for views that were solidly in the mainstream 20 years ago and he's likely to dig in his heels. I think the views on gay marriage are changing not because of negative reasons (you're a bigot if you oppose this!) but because of positive ones (I know somebody gay who got married and I'm happy for them!). The endless stream of blissful wedding photos of these couples is a powerful message.

posted by rcade at 08:33 AM on May 13

Was opposition to gay marriage hateful in 1989? I'm a liberal person who is strongly pro-gay rights. Marriage wasn't even on the radar back then. Under 12 percent supported gay marriage rights.

Now, it's been a major issue for at least 10 years. People have had ample time to hear the best arguments both sides have to offer. The best argument against gay marriage is the "sanctity of marriage" argument, and it is incredibly weak. So, why are people against gay marriage really? And, how forgiving should we be of people advocating discrimination? What about interracial marriage? Is being against that hateful? If so, when do you think it became "hateful"? Take a look at the poll as late as 1994 less than half of Americans approved of it.

posted by bperk at 09:31 AM on May 13

But as obnoxious as Goddard sounds, his views are not so far outside the norm that they ought to merit his firing.

Can we apply that reasoning across the board? Because I'm pretty sure that religious institutions here in the United States are allowed to fire employees who express views that go against their doctrine -- even though, say, Catholic doctrine is frequently some distance from normal views.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:51 AM on May 13

I think 10 years is a bit overstated. Gay marriage became legal in the first U.S. state in 2004 and at that time was only legal in five other jurisdictions: the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.

And, how forgiving should we be of people advocating discrimination?

How forgiving should future people be of us for holding onto views that slide out of the mainstream? If everyone is vegetarian in 20 years and I post on Twitface that burgers are delicious, should I be expelled from the Champions Tour?

posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on May 13

Can we apply that reasoning across the board? Because I'm pretty sure that religious institutions here in the United States are allowed to fire employees who express views that go against their doctrine -- even though, say, Catholic doctrine is frequently some distance from normal views.

I already applied that reasoning across the board. Employers have the right to fire people if they don't want to be associated with the public stances they have taken. I just think Rogers should have warned Goddard instead of firing him.

posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on May 13

How forgiving should future people be of us for holding onto views that slide out of the mainstream?

It's about adapting. If we hold on to old views without adapting to change, then why should we be forgiven for it. How many years do we have to accept open discrimination until we can expect people to change their views? 5? 10? 20? I think you can be forgiven until that time at which you should have given the issue some real thought. Many people in this country grew up in a time when interracial marriage was illegal. It means nothing to me. They need to adapt to the world as it is now.

posted by bperk at 11:23 AM on May 13

I just think Rogers should have warned Goddard instead of firing him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rogers was looking for any reason to fire him.

Sportsnet is really not that good.

They aren't as slick as TSN (the #1 sports station in Canada), and not as hip as TheScore (the #3 sports station, but very popular among younger audiences despite not having any professional hockey, baseball, or football on their schedule).

Part of the problem is that they have people like Goddard, who come across as very stiff on screen. When he tries to be "cool" or "funny", it just translates into "awkward". They may have been trying to transition him out, but as a long time employee it might have met with resistance.

BTW, how come Canada has 3 national sports networks, but I only know of one (ESPN) that exists in USA?

posted by grum@work at 12:03 PM on May 13

If we hold on to old views without adapting to change, then why should we be forgiven for it.

If you change your views all the time, how deeply did you ever hold them?

posted by rcade at 12:06 PM on May 13

I think 10 years is a bit overstated. Gay marriage became legal in the first U.S. state in 2004 and at that time was only legal in five other jurisdictions: the Netherlands, Belgium, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec.

Oh please; it was a major issue well before it became codified; either you've been hiding under a rock or you're just willfully ignoring the facts.

It was a big enough issue that in 1996, U.S. Congress passed the Defence of Marriage Act which prevented homosexual partners from receiving traditionally conferred marriage benefits. This was a response to a 1993 verdict Hawaii judge ruling that the state had to come up with a compelling, constitutional reason for not conferring these benefits to gay partners. It was a major issue before the first victory, too.

If anything, 10 years is understating how long it's been in the public eye, and congress, at a minimum, has been acting on it for 15 years.

I just think Rogers should have warned Goddard instead of firing him.

We don't know what happened to Goddard; considering he's not at all repentent, it's quite possible they asked him to remove the tweets and apologize and he wouldn't. It's premature to assume that Rogers simply went apeshit and canned his ass without due process, especially given there's a union involved and whatnot.

posted by dfleming at 12:15 PM on May 13

It was a big enough issue that in 1996, U.S. Congress passed the Defence of Marriage Act which prevented homosexual partners from receiving traditionally conferred marriage benefits.

I think you're combining two issues: domestic partner benefits for gays and actual marriage. But here's a 1996 story from U.S. News and World Report that asks, "Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?" and a Google word history that shows the term first blowing up around then. So maybe it's always been one issue to most people.

posted by rcade at 12:27 PM on May 13

It's premature to assume that Rogers simply went apeshit and canned his ass without due process, especially given there's a union involved and whatnot.

He was fired a day after he posted the tweet. How much due process could he have gotten?

posted by rcade at 12:29 PM on May 13

Of course. And the same people wouldn't be exalting in someone's firing for stating their opinion, right?

You weren't referring to me I hope since my comment made no point either way on the firing. I agree that exalting in someone being fired for this reason is excessive though perhaps being pleasantly amused would be okay.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:06 PM on May 13

So maybe it's always been one issue to most people.

I think so; I think that the overall issue has always been the same; accepting gay love and commitment as the equivalent to straight love and commitment. You don't start a fire without a spark, and similarly, you don't get to gay marriage without the small victories in the process.

The overall goal has been the same, I think, which is to recognize a partner as a partner.

He was fired a day after he posted the tweet. How much due process could he have gotten?

I'd imagine a single meeting, where they discussed what he did, and a course of action he refused to take. That's speculation, but it wouldn't take long for the corporate equivalent of admitting you did it because the evidence is compelling and refusing to take the medicine. In my office, I'd be out the door in 15 minutes and they'd have followed all procedure, if they got the bodies together fast enough.

posted by dfleming at 01:48 PM on May 13

It's premature to assume that Rogers simply went apeshit and canned his ass without due process, especially given there's a union involved and whatnot.

He was fired a day after he posted the tweet. How much due process could he have gotten?

According to the article: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 they're to be believed, it appears Goddard was on thin ice prior to the tweets.

posted by dviking at 03:25 PM on May 13

If you change your views all the time, how deeply did you ever hold them?

Not very deeply. I suspect that most of the sea change has been people who were not vehemently opposed to gay marriage in the first place. They were opposed. It became an issue. They gave it some thought, and then decided they weren't opposed. People who feel like Goddard may never change their mind.

posted by bperk at 05:01 PM on May 13

Why are you applying American poll data and rulings for a Canadian issue? the support for gay marriage in this country has been at or higher than two-thirds since 2006. It was majority in favour in most polls by 2001. Sportsnet's response is hardly surprising and was expected.

Yous guys are a bit behind the trend on this one. Here's how the dominoes fell up here.

10 June 2003: Ontario
8 July 2003: British Columbia
16 March 2004: Quebec
14 July 2004: Yukon territory
16 September 2004: Manitoba
24 September 2004: Nova Scotia
5 November 2004: Saskatchewan
21 December 2004: Newfoundland and Labrador
23 June 2005: New Brunswick
20 July 2005 (Civil Marriage Act): Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut territory, and the Northwest Territories

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:13 PM on May 13

Defining opposition to gay marriage as hate is a hell of a shift, given where we were as a society not that long ago

If we were talking about the fifties I'd agree. But in today's world, where these topics are debated daily in every form of media, 10 years in my opinion is a long time. Besides, I'd put the fight for gay marriage as a continuation of a long list of discrimination fights over the past 50 years.

You seem to be giving a lot of attention to 'social norms'. Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but you seem to be saying that if the public in general agree's with the stance, it isn't hate. I disagree. Being forced to sit at the back of the bus is discriminatory, and hateful, no matter what percentage of the public agrees with it. If the social norm is discriminatory, that part of society should be held accountable, even if they're just going along with it because 'that's the way we've always done it'.

If Goddard had said "f#$@ shouldn't be allowed to marry" I think most people would agree that's a hateful statement. But both statements, his professional "I'm Catholic" one as well as the one that is blatantly hateful, end in the same place: discrimination. I don't find one markedly different than the other.

I think the views on gay marriage are changing not because of negative reasons (you're a bigot if you oppose this!) but because of positive ones (I know somebody gay who got married and I'm happy for them!).

I tend to agree with you, but why can't we have both? The company he worked for didn't call him a bigot, they just severed ties. I know nothing about this company, but bravo to them for not waiting until the 'social norms' supported their decision. (I also see from weedy's link that Canada does support gay-marriage).

I also highly doubt that anyone reinforced in their anti-gay beliefs by this firing is going to be changed by a few happy pictures. They'll go to the grave with those beliefs.

posted by justgary at 06:17 PM on May 13

I also highly doubt that anyone reinforced in their anti-gay beliefs by this firing is going to be changed by a few happy pictures. They'll go to the grave with those beliefs.

If that was true, to what do you attribute the rise in support for gay marriage from around 12 percent in 1988 to around 50 percent today? The U.S. has a lot of Christians who've been taught the biblical prohibition against homosexuality all their lives. Those polls don't move as much as they have without a lot of them changing their minds on gay marriage against their own religious inclinations.

Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but you seem to be saying that if the public in general agree's with the stance, it isn't hate.

Hate is a strong word. I don't think it automatically follows that a person with a religious opposition to gay marriage has an intense or passionate dislike for gay people.

posted by rcade at 06:45 PM on May 13

If that was true, to what do you attribute the rise in support for gay marriage from around 12 percent in 1988 to around 50 percent today?

People changing their minds. That doesn't refute what I claimed. There's a segment of people that will never have their minds changed. What percentage? I have no idea, but it's included in the 50 percent (from your statistics) that don't support gay marriage. Listening to Goddard after the firing I'd say he's part of that percentage.

I don't think it automatically follows that a person with a religious opposition to gay marriage has an intense or passionate dislike for gay people.

We'll agree to disagree. Refusing someone else rights that you have because you disagree with their sexual preference is hateful. Discrimination is hateful. Wrapping it up in religion, using religion as an excuse, in my opinion, doesn't change that. It hides it.

posted by justgary at 10:29 PM on May 13

I don't think it automatically follows that a person with a religious opposition to gay marriage has an intense or passionate dislike for gay people.

How about the exact other side of the coin? Quebec is hugely Catholic, and they were more than 77% in favour of gay marriage in 2002. The religion excuse is bunk. It's the culture.

And there are plenty of people who will most likely never change their minds about gays. They're called OLD PEOPLE. Everyone else has a shot.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:41 AM on May 14

Hate is a strong word. I don't think it automatically follows that a person with a religious opposition to gay marriage has an intense or passionate dislike for gay people.

Maybe we'll just have to agree to call them ignorant of the facts and of history, then. However old your religious tradition may be, marriage is older. Your religion did not invent marriage, it does not own the definition of marriage nor control access to it, and religious ceremonies and sacraments have absolutely no legal standing in a civil society (something that I think the "I'm [insert religion]" crowd tend to forget). Invoking religious beliefs into a discussion about civil rights is a bizarre irrelevancy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:57 AM on May 14

I'm a secularist, so you'll get no argument from me that government-recognized marriage is a secular institution that should be extended to gays. Churches should set whatever guidelines they like on the marriages they perform and leave the rest of us alone.

posted by rcade at 09:07 AM on May 14

government-recognized marriage is a secular institution

It is really the government setting the terms of a private contract, which should not be the business of government.

posted by graymatters at 02:13 PM on May 14

I'm a secularist, so you'll get no argument from me that government-recognized marriage is a secular institution that should be extended to gays.

Yeah...just to be clear, my "you" didn't mean "you, rcade", but rather the impersonal "you".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:25 PM on May 14

graymatters, it is surely the business of government as long as other things, such as taxes and legal control (in the case of illness, for instance) are related to marital status.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:27 AM on May 16

You weren't referring to me I hope since my comment made no point either way on the firing.

Nope.

posted by tselson at 10:14 PM on May 16

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