Former NBC Sports hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against the network on Friday, claiming he was discriminated against as a straight man and an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump.
Roenick’s lawsuit, which was reported by Variety, stems from the network’s decision to fire the former NHL star in February following comments he made on a Barstool Sports podcast in which he joked about having a threesome with his wife and co-worker, Kathryn Tappen.
The 50-year-old was originally suspended before the decision came to terminate his contract, which Roenick called one of the “biggest raw deals of all time” in an interview on 670 The Score in Chicago.
The lawsuit accuses NBC of violating the state law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, and pointed to a promotional video NBC figure skating commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski made, which involved vulgar language and insinuation of an affair, but neither were disciplined by the network.
It also details a conversation Roenick had with his supervisor, Sam Flood, about the “colorful language” Weir used while describing skaters’ body parts in the 2018 Olympics. Flood allegedly told Roenick that Weir “is gay and can say whatever.”
The lawsuit contains several complaints about Flood, whom Roenick alleges made derogatory comments to him about his support for Trump and cites that support as a factor that led to his firing.
According to the lawsuit, Roenick states that he asked Flood permission to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which Flood allegedly replied, “I’m not saying what you can do. You know who you work for. You work for NBC. That would not look good on your NBC record.”
Roenick also accuses NBC of breaching his contract in the lawsuit, alleging that the network fired him without good cause and failed to give him a reasonable opportunity to correct the violation.
The former NHL star, who spent 20 seasons in the league with the Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, joined NBC Sports in 2010 following his retirement from the NHL.