Last month, New York Post sports columnist Bart Hubbuch became a cautionary tale when he was fired from his job over a tweet about Donald Trump. Now, he’s reportedly suing to get his job back.
According to Pro Football Talk, Hubbuch has filed a lawsuit against the Post, claiming he can’t be fired for tweeting “outside of work, on his own time, under his own name, in his own home, from his own Twitter feed, and without the use of any of the Post’s equipment or other property.”
The lawsuit, which was passed along to PFT by sports law attorney Daniel Wallach, alleges that the Post violated New York Labor Law Section 201-d, which makes it “unlawful for any employer . . . to discharge from employment . . . an individual . . . because of . . . an individual’s legal recreational activities outside work hours, off of the employer’s premises and without use of the employer’s equipment or other property.”
The tweet that got Hubbuch fired compared Trump’s inauguration to Pear Harbor and 9/11. He deleted it quickly amid a hearty backlash.
Hubbuch’s lawsuit gets personal with the Post, claiming that since the paper is known for provocative headlines and tawdry stories, it’s hypocritical for the paper to be too up in arms over a controversial tweet.
“Not known for its sensitivity,” the lawsuit alleges at Paragraph 3, “the Post regularly exploits tragedy, violence and death to sell news. It also pushes the bounds of what is considered appropriate news coverage.”
Also, Paragraph 4 repeats a past public remark from a Post supervisor that “[w]e like to be pirates.”
“In keeping with its tabloid style, the Post has sensationalized the actual or perceived the fault of democratically elected leaders by running covers showing them dressed up like tyrants responsible for murder, torture and repression,” Hubbuch alleges at Paragraph 5.
The suit reportedly says Hubbuch was told he would be fired if he didn’t apologize, then was fired anyway even after apologizing. Hubbuch also accuses Post honcho Rupert Murdoch of being afraid to insult Trump now that he has power to benefit or harm Murdoch’s company, 21st Century Fox.
Hubbuch is seeking a monetary award as well as reinstatement to his job, according to PFT.
The closest comparison we could come up with for Hubbuch’s lawsuit is the suit brought by Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers, who alleged age and disability discrimination after being phased out at the paper in 2015. Simers was initially awarded $7.1 million in damages but later had the award voided.