Monday, 23 December 2019

Think Before Speaking

It was announced today that NBC Sports has indefinitely suspended former NHL star and current NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick without pay from their broadcasts in response to comments made about an NBC colleague that Roenick stated on a popular podcast on Thursday. Roenick's comments are fairly offensive when it comes to what he said about Kathryn Tappen, and had this been any regular workplace where these comments were uttered it's likely that Roenick's employment would have ended. However, it seems that NBC has opted to keep him away from the studio while they likely try to carefully choose what steps to take next.

I want to be clear when I say that what Roenick said on the Spittin' Chiclets podcast is simply awful. While the stories that Roenick told on the podcast with Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney might have been "locker-room talk" at one point, they are certainly not acceptable in today's society, they are unquestionably wrong when speaking about a co-worker, and they are deserving of a reprimand based on what Roenick stated. In fact, the reprimand likely should be termination of employment.

While I won't repeat on this blog what Roenick said, you can read the information here as provided by CNN. What I will say is what always shocks me is that those who seem to "get caught" making these types of comments always seem to be wearing a microphone or standing in front of a camera. In today's media-saturated world, everyone who has a cell phone has a camera and microphone in one's pocket, and it's how television shows like TMZ and Tosh.0 found mainstream popularity as anyone can go viral now.

The thing that makes Roenick's actions worse is that he volunteered the story on the podcast while knowing it was being recorded, and it's fairly clear that the story is humiliating to Kathryn Tappen. While Roenick tried to walk back his comments about how she's a friend and how she's "one of the most professional sports personalities" he knows, it was clear from Tappen's comments following Roenick's appearance that she was less than amused with his storytelling.

"While Jeremy and I continue to be good friends, what he said was unacceptable, especially among workplace colleagues. I do not condone his comments," she said in a statement.

What does it take for a guy like Jeremy Roenick to fire up the gray matter before putting his mouth in motion? I do radio for fun, but we're constantly ensuring that we don't say something as dumb as what Roenick said because we know it's unacceptable. Roenick is talking about a woman who he states he respects in the most disrespectful way possible, and it never once crossed his mind that this might lead to problems? Clearly, he knows that he's under the microscope when, later in the podcast, he told the guys that he tries to be careful of what he says "because of my boss... and because of NBC."

I don't know if Jeremy Roenick returns to his job working alongside Kathryn Tappen after objectifying her in the way he did. And while NBC has done the right thing in keeping Roenick away from the NBC Sports studios, it might be time to send a clear message to the rest of the on-air and off-air employees that this sort of garbage won't be tolerated. It might be time to fire Jeremy Roenick.

Actions have consequences. Losing one's high-paying studio analyst job is one of the consequences, and the one that would certainly instill a lesson in everyone else that this sort of behavior is no longer tolerated at any level.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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