Last summer, Jeremy Roenick sued NBC following his dismissal from the network. On Wednesday, part of that lawsuit was dismissed.
Per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, Roenick’s claim that NBC “discriminated against him as a straight man” was dismissed by Judge John Cronan. The federal judge wasn’t convinced by Roenick’s comparison to an NBC promo video featuring Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.
But Judge John Cronan wasn’t buying it, writing, “(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, Tappen, and his wife on multiple occasions.
“Simply put, neither Lipinski nor Weir joked about having sex with a co-worker. Roenick did. Whether these two incidents were ‘of comparable seriousness,’ is not even close.”
The part of Roenick’s complaint that will proceed relates to his defense of colleague Kathryn Tappen from comments made by NBC’s Sam Flood.
“Roenick says that his boss, Sam Flood, made ‘discriminatory and harassing statements’ to Kathryn Tappen,” Cronan wrote. “Flood ‘criticized Tappen for her performance as a commentator and broadcaster when (Tappen), for example, would accidentally mispronounce the name of a player or coach.’
“These claims are based on the allegation that defendants terminated Roenick ‘(s)hortly after’ Roenick complained to Flood about Flood’s ‘discriminatory and harassing statements made to Tappen based on Tappen’s sex/gender,’” Cronan wrote. “The complaint sufficiently alleges that NBC retaliated against Roenick and that Flood aided and abetted such conduct.”
Roenick was initially suspended by NBC in December of 2019 after making comments about Tappen on a Barstool Sports podcast. In February of 2020, he announced that he wouldn’t be back, which led to the lawsuit in July.