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Canadian Sports Anchor Damian Goddard Fired for Tweet in Support of Anti-Gay Hockey Agency


Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet has fired its host Damian Goddard following a tweet in which he expressed support for "the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage."


Goddard's tweet was in response to a tweet from Uptown Sports Management, a major hockey agency, in which it condemned New York Ranger Sean Avery for his support of the campaign to pass marriage equality in New York.

The Toronto Star reports:

Attempting to skip over the controversy, Sportsnet suggested in a release that their problems with Goddard did not start with his decision to share his political views online.

“Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization,” the sports giant’s communications director, Dave Rashford, said in a short statement.

Goddard hosted the Sportsnet show Connected.

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  1. Next!

    Posted by: ohplease | May 11, 2011 6:48:33 PM

  2. I completely and whole-heartedly support Sportsnet for its traditional and TRUE meaning of the word fired.

    Posted by: Randy | May 11, 2011 7:07:58 PM

  3. My hope is that the clients of the Uptown Sports Management agency will start bailing. The sooner the better. If the bigots get hit in the pocket book, maybe they'll start to see their bigotry as a bad thing.

    Posted by: Abel | May 11, 2011 7:11:59 PM

  4. Don't be naive, Abel. All that will accomplish is adding ammunition to their argument that we're all bullying everyone who disagrees with us.

    Honestly, the more people we get fired for expressing political views we disagree with, the more we look like the intolerant thought police. This isn't to say we shouldn't fight back, we certainly should, but perhaps we could be a bit more classy about it.

    Posted by: Tim | May 11, 2011 7:26:20 PM

  5. Hate speech is hate speech and people are getting tired of it. Wake up and smell tolerence and the future generation's vision for our country!

    Posted by: InExile | May 11, 2011 7:43:47 PM

  6. Tim this is not our fight at this point in this type of case. This is now the fight of the corporation he works for and chose to work for I assume after going through Diversity training. I would be very surprised if they do not have an existing Corporate Values statement that employees are required to uphold. Can any of who are employees of the majority of the major corporations us be active and open members of the KKK and still keep our jobs??? For most of us I assume not.

    So this guy is just learning the new rules of civilized society in 2011.

    I do hope they have had something in writing that restricted this behavior before firing him without a warning.

    Posted by: RJP3 | May 11, 2011 7:45:16 PM

  7. He didn't have a great reputation, so I'm not surprised that Sportsnet says that says that the problems didn't start with that tweet.

    Posted by: Jamie | May 11, 2011 7:47:07 PM

  8. I don't get your comment, Tim, because such firings will accomplish getting mouthy homophobes off the airwaves. Let them fend for their homophobic selves out in the open market after having this kind of firing on their work record. Good riddance to each and every one of them. Firings is one way to fight back!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | May 11, 2011 7:48:37 PM

  9. No one got anyone fired but Damian Goddard. He just happens to work for a company that has a certain image in mind they feel he does not uphold. It does not necessarily mean that they are any more supportive of gay rights than Uptown Sports Management is . . . only that perhaps they recognize that there is money to be made and lost in the gay community.

    It is fascinating to see the same duality of pacifism and militarism in the the fight for gay rights that marked the Civil Rights movement. But here is the thing. While Martin Luther King gets all the cred for . . . and he certainly deserves a lot of credit (that should go without saying) I don't think the movement could have done without Malcolm X.

    I agree Tim, only to the extent that I do not like this overly sensitive politically correct environment that is rapidly growing in this country . . .but the variant ways we choose to fight for our rights has nothing to do with class . . . because we need our sensible gay folks with their modulated tone . . . and we need our angry fags.

    Posted by: Ricco | May 11, 2011 7:49:36 PM

  10. I am somewhat torn about this. On the one hand it is a matter of free speech (however misguided), on the other hand his Twitter page was very much work related and not personal. While it won't make any difference here in Canada (or little), it will be used by our enemies in the US as ammunition in their battle against our rights.

    It should be noted that Sportsnet is part of the Rogers Communications group in Canada. Rogers is the largest cable company, a major owner of radio and TV networks, and the number three cell phone company. Rogers is also a big supporter of gay causes. I suspect this decision to fire him may have come down from on high.

    Posted by: Jim | May 11, 2011 7:53:39 PM

  11. Marriage has a traditional meaning, but it not a TRUE meaning. It's a man-made device and has not been around since the beginning of time as Piggie Gallagher would have it--she's not that old, she just seems like an old fart.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 11, 2011 7:54:59 PM

  12. Well said Rico

    Posted by: Sean | May 11, 2011 7:57:07 PM

  13. We can't all be martyrs, rolling over and letting them kick us to death, putting us in hospital and in the ground.

    Here is what I know of human nature . . . it goes from one extreme to another. What we have suffered, and are still suffering in the loss of our beautiful young gay boys and girls who cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, has been extreme. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, for our species to go from one extreme in our world perspective and not go to the other extreme when attempting to redress past wrongs, to create a more equitable society.

    It's simple physics. A pendulum never swings from its outer arc to settle dead center of that arc.

    Posted by: Ricco | May 11, 2011 8:01:23 PM

  14. Wow, in America Cicadas are coming out of their 13 year hibernation in swarms; in Canada the Conservatives won a majority for the first time in years last week and the homophobes and bigots are already coming out of the woodwork in swarms.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 11, 2011 8:13:33 PM

  15. @Tim: Why, because they're so classy?

    Boycotts and firings are perfectly acceptable ways of expressing disagreement. People are allowed to say or think whatever they want, but when those views can be taken to reflect on their employer and/or they're a public figure, they deserve whatever sanctions they incur. Most companies aren't eager to be viewed as employing and thereby tacitly supporting bigots.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 11, 2011 8:14:21 PM

  16. No, we don't need to be classy about exposing and eliminating bigotry. These bigots are not classy. They hate us, they look down on us, the spit on us and their existences. Well, now that FINALLY we are gaining some widespread support and social power, it's time to make the world a better place for all decent human beings to live. No-one said you can't be a bigot but if you go out of your way to proclaim it, there are consequences in a civil society. That's the way I see it. You either stand up or get run over.

    And, ultimately, now that we are gaining more acceptance, companies are crossing their T's and dotting their I's to make sure they don't cross us. And realize that we have a voice----and we have pocketbooks and are ready to send a clear message with them. This sends a great example that no, it's not acceptable to be anti-gay. It's that simple.

    Posted by: Francis | May 11, 2011 8:16:38 PM

  17. Tim - How do you propose injecting class into an arena where two grown men have taking to venting -- like teenage girls - on Twitter -- not their opinion -- but their opinion - ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION -- and then - like gossiping housewives of the 50s- at least in Ms. Reynolds' case - whining about how they should be able to say something about Avery's beliefs - but no one has a right to say anything about theirs?

    Both of these cowardly buffoons are more than welcome to have conversations about their personal beliefs with their families, their friends, and the boys they pay to sleep with them - but if you take to your companies' account - or you, as a television commentator, take to your twitter account - and criticize someone else's beliefs - or how you support someone else's right to criticize someone else's beliefs -- you will be criticized and you will be held responsible.

    Posted by: ricky | May 11, 2011 8:18:37 PM

  18. "This isn't to say we shouldn't fight back, we certainly should, but perhaps we could be a bit more classy about it."

    We didn't fire him, his Canadian broadcaster did, so it's not a question of us being classy. Most of us think we're quite classy enough, thank you very much. His Tweet was asinine--not to mention, CLASSLESS, and if he thought it wouldn't get him in trouble, he is very naive. Gay couples can get married in Canada, so the TRUE meaning of marriage includes them. To suggest otherwise is false and ignorant, blatantly bigoted. If he'd agreed that other minority groups should not be allowed to marry, whatever Canadian law says, he'd be out of a job just as fast, or faster.

    He's still free to speak his mind. But that doesn't mean anyone should be forced to keep him on as a "freelance contractor."

    Posted by: Ernie | May 11, 2011 8:20:13 PM

  19. @JIM, first, This was in CANADA, not the USA. Canada does not have a constitutional right to free speech. Second, even if this were in the USA, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the "right of free speech", which is specific in forbidding GOVERNMENTAL/legal suppression of speech (you know, like an elected official, Ruben Diaz, using his office and official position as a legislator to try to shut down a news paper). Private companies have right to limit the speech of their employees; particularly on company time and on company equipment and NO ONE has a right to UNCHALLENGED speech. I'm surprised by how many idiots think that free speech means people have a right to express an opinion without challenge or consequence.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 11, 2011 8:24:04 PM

  20. The true North Strong and Free. Canada has it right. God Bless Canada!

    Posted by: chris | May 11, 2011 9:10:54 PM

  21. The First Amendment says the CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

    When are people going to figure out that the right to free speech has nothing to do with being permitted to say any assholey thing that comes to your mind and letting it hit your mouth like some kind of gumball machine without any consequences?

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | May 11, 2011 10:16:11 PM

  22. It's wonderful to see the pendulum starting to swing our way. More and more we are seeing full public support for us an consequences against those that make bigoted public statements.

    To those of you who may think that these bigots aren't being treated with enough "class.... just take their public comment and modify it to make it about race. See if you think they would have seen a different result.

    It's finally starting to happen on a regular basis, polite society is no longer willing to put up with the bigots and their outbursts and it feels GREAT.

    Posted by: Tim NC | May 11, 2011 10:16:30 PM


    Right. Presumably, he violated some aspect of his contract, or it's coming up for renewal. The company is within it's legal rights to terminate his employment. As for his tweet, he did it from his 'business' account, and no doubt his employers did not appreciate the publicity.

    Canada soes legally restrict speech to an extent the U.S. does not, however. I don't agree with this. I think people should be able to express their opinions even if others find those opinions offensive. Adults shouldn't be thin skinned. And I wouldn't want to see in the U.S. any extra-judicial so-called 'Human Rights Tribunals' like Canada.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 11, 2011 10:27:37 PM


    Actually, yes, the First Amendment does legally allow you or anyone else to say any 'assholey' thing, as long as it doesn't fit the legal description of libel, in which case you risk being civilly sued. What's so hard to understand?

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 11, 2011 10:41:59 PM

  25. "I'm surprised by how many idiots think that free speech means people have a right to express an opinion without challenge or consequence." - TampaZeke

    It's one of the most surprising things about the US approach to these things.

    Three words: "Westboro Baptist Church".

    No... I'm too tired to really get into it.

    ...but? Don't you think that people hurting others should be stopped?

    Anyway, in this much milder case, Goddard violated Canadian accepted social and moral standards (and what really is the law), and expressed a social commentary on behalf of the organisation that he works for, without approval.

    YUP. I'd have fired him too.

    Posted by: JAMES in Toronto | May 11, 2011 10:46:05 PM

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