breaking news

Damian Goddard No Longer At Sportsnet

May 11th, 2011 | by torontosportsmedia

I have just now talked with Damian Goddard who has confirmed that he will no longer be working as at Rogers Sportsnet.

Damian offered a very polite “no comment” when I asked for one.

Rogers official word is that Goddard’s termination is not a result of his tweets in opposition to Sean Avery’s support of gay marriage, but was rather a poor fit with Sportsnet.

Believe that?

I am never happy when one loses their job. In this instance, it appears that this was preventable. I will try to reach out to Goddard later to get more info for you all.

More tonight

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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45 Comments

  1. Chris F. says:

    Ugh, Look, it isn’t right to fire a man due to his beliefs. At least Goddard didn’t go about it like that agent did the other day.

    I hate to see this happen. Hopefully he catches on somewhere else

  2. T-jones says:

    see him on Sun TV soon…

  3. A Straight Person says:

    Good. Have hated him for a long time, and the fact that he’s a pathetic bigot only makes it all the more sweeter. Goodbye!

    Another person that nobody would truly miss should they die.

  4. Norman says:

    I always thought he was okay on air. It just seems to me he has bounced around alot in the last 10 years or so. I wonder if his beliefs have hindered him. Sportsnet said not cause of his tweets, do not believe it. This was preventable on his part. We have freedom of speach, sometimes I think you need to know when to use and when not to !!!

  5. Jon says:

    I figured it was gonna happen… whatever, guess thats what you get. To state your beliefs is one thing but to proclaim them as right and the ONLY way is wrong.

  6. mario says:

    Totaly agree…hate for someone to lose thier job over a personal opinon over a tweet even thought thay say it had nothing to do with it…sure….do not belive that for a minute…

  7. Weener says:

    Goddard is in a highly competitive industry where he is a public representation of the company. To make statements or take positions that are controversial (and, especially, those that are not related to sports) impact his employer’s image and he should know better. What if he chose to tweet about abortion, religion, etc.? That would not reflect well on Rogers Sportsnet at all and could impact viewership as they get offended by his position…

  8. ng says:

    R u kidding?
    Start talking like that in the open in the workplace, and you are gone.
    Save your preaching for sunday.
    Stick to your J.O.B.

  9. Mark H says:

    When you say things in a public forum, especially when you have any sort of fame, then you risk having those opinions reflect on your employer and your employer in turn responding to those words. He may have said what he said as Damian Goddard, but because it is well known that he is a Sportsnet anchor, then those comments impact his employer as well.

    My company has a code of conduct that I’m expected to deal with both inside the office and with my dealings in the community where I may be identified by my place of work (be they official work related activities or otherwise). I’m sure Rogers is the same way and Goddard had to know that his actions would have consequences. A vast media company like Rogers can’t afford that kind of publicity.

  10. Steve says:

    I believe the statement from Sportsnet that he wasn’t a fit. It makes sense now. Goddard knew he was on the way out from Sportsnet, so he didn’t care about making a Tweet that he had to know was controversial.

    The only other explanation is that he’s a total idiot who doesn’t understand the power of social media. I don’t buy that.

    He knew his time was limited at Sportsnet, and he might have even been Tweeting to embarass Sportsnet. Or maybe he was trying to force them into paying him a severence package. Who knows.

    Not a great career move, considering how small the sports broadcasting world is in Canada.

  11. Sean says:

    Goddard has the right to make public statement. Rogers has the right to react.

    He then is subject to the public.

    Most of these guys have clauses in their contracts that worn contracted employees that they need to watch what they say/do.

    i feel bad that he lost his job, but at the same time those who say things are held accountable.

  12. dave says:

    crap like this is why Sportnet will always be second to TSN

  13. Rob in Aurora says:

    Dave said it best…I only noticed Goddard’s work on air recently. He did a better job than many hosts at Sportnet IMO, so it seems only fitting they fire him. They don’t manage to do very many things right.

    I don’t feel very strongly either way on this issue, so I can’t relate to any of the parties coming out on either side thus far. I understand the gay community making this a human rights issue, I also understand faith based stances opposing it as a religeous union. As a legal matter, I don’t see how anyone can possibly oppose it, I just don’t care – this seems to be a waste of column space int he papers – TSM has the right spin here – it is interesting how this is so polarizing. I am not interested otherwise.

  14. mike (in boston) says:

    i wonder if he’ll be offered a job at Uptown Hockey …

  15. Rob in Aurora says:

    I don’t remember what Goddard said exactly – it sure didn’t sound like hate speech to me though from memory. I hope he gets a pay out from ROGERS and I hope he lands on his feet soon.

  16. ng says:

    his twitter page had like 200 followers, so what bother? And some other tweets of his were roman catholic.
    Don’t mix religion and work!!
    I don’t trip out on Christians in my workplace, even though I am an atheist.

    Is Don Cherry going to give us his opinion on gay marriage next?

  17. GLenn says:

    Wow I am so impressed with sportsnet. If someone positions themselves on twitter as working for a company and then spews homophobic comments they should be fired. Equality is not a left vs right issue, it is also not an “opinion”.

  18. mongoose says:

    persecution of Christians continues….
    it is unreal that in this day and age u can lose a job over your religious beliefs.

  19. Capn2patch says:

    Curious that RS would terminate his employment but leave the twitter feed on.

    http://twitter.com/#!/heydamo

  20. ng says:

    A huge company like Rogers has zero tolerance for that kind of stuff in the workplace. He is a sports talking head, not religion.

    If he wants to talk religion, then get a job doing that. Companies like Rogers are very diverse, and if you started posting anti-gay marriage posters on your cubicle, you would be fired.

    There are GAY senior execs in those companies who are MARRIED and getting spousal benefits from Rogers.

  21. Andrew says:

    Goddard’s remarks pale in comparison to some of the things I’ve heard on the Fan 590, particularly from Bruce Arthur. With the corporate world being very PC, especially in North America, they are always going to be careful when it comes to upsetting any group that is organized with political and media influence. Goddard should’ve been aware of that.

  22. Robert says:

    Anyone employed by a large corporation should now when to keep their private beliefs, just that, private…Oh well, as he twittered last night that he was now going to spend time with his wife…why he would care to mention that, who knows, he now has alot of time to spend with her…..

  23. Gerry (Burlington) says:

    Mike Boston – Living here in Burlington where Uptown is based (according to article I read), I will have to do some driveby’s and see if Goddard starts this week or next.

  24. Locode says:

    Capn2patch; the twitter feed is his own.

  25. Denial says:

    “I could be wrong” but my guess is that Goddard was given a chance to apologize for those he offended with by his Tweet and make one of those inane public statements that are such utter lies but still tend to soothe those who need it (“It was never my intention to offend anyone with my Tweet. I recognize and respect that same sex unions have been recognized by the courts as legal, and in no way attempted to impede upon those rights. While I have a personal opinion regarding this issue that may differ from others, the fact remains that it is a personal opinion and given that I have used my Twitter account to connect with and share professional views on sports/media and other issues, I recognize now that it was not the right forum, or the right way, to express myself. I therefore apologize to any of those that were offended.”

    Or some other such bullshit.

    And then that probably would have been the end of it. But maybe Goddard was emboldened by the support he received, told Sportsnet to (ironically) do something rather homo-erotic to a particular part of his body, and was told to clean out his locker.

    He’ll probably end up on Sun TV. Or perhaps the Senate.

  26. CanDo says:

    He’s got a right to his opinions, sure, and he’s got a right to express them. But it’s silly to assume that freedom of expression also mean freedom to not be held responsible for the consequences of your expression. If I represented a major corporation and said I thought everyone should convert to X religion, that’d be my opinion, and I’d be held to account for it, as I ought to be. Goddard has expressed his opinion. Now he’s being held to account for it. No injustice there.

    Very proud to see so many in hockey standing up for an inclusive game. Sportsmanship and discrimination don’t go together.

  27. Less than 12 parsecs says:

    Remember Todd Reynolds’ original tweet that Goddard was supporting: “Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.’ Legal or not, it will always be wrong.”

    He didn’t say that he personally had an issue, or that it conflicted with his beliefs. He said Avery was flat-out wrong and that legalizing it was wrong.

    Goddard’s tweet: “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.”

    That’s not about his personal beliefs or his faith; that’s about insisting that Avery and most Canadians are morally wrong. Not wrong in the sense that, say, I personally think that a lot of Canadians were wrong to vote Conservative; he means wrong in the sense that it is sin, and like murder or theft.

    Calling your audience sinners works if you’re a preacher. In any other line of work, your ass is quickly hit by the door as you’re booted through it on your way out.

  28. Rome says:

    Whenever you get something like this happening you get really the idiotic notion that it’s a “free speech issue” it really just makes me tear out my hair. From Howard Stern to Dr. Laura broadcasters always decide if somebody is worth the trouble if they give opinions or attitude that turns people off. Comedians to musicans too. You can say whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean you need a mainstream broadcasting outlet to say it.

    This actually reminds me a bit of Dr. Laura recently, some poor woman called her saying she’s in an inter-racial marriage and her husbands white friends keep asking her “black questions”. The good doctor reply? “if you are so thin skinned you shouldn’t have married outside your race” and said the N-word a dozen times (because you know, Chris Rock said it on HBO) so saying it on AM radio is equal to that. Affiliates & sponsors started dropping her, as she leaves radio complaining about yup “my freedom of speech” is compromised.

    By the way if you hear any talk show host complain about their “freedom of speech” ask them a simple question. Why do you filter calls? Why isn’t it open lines straight to air. Every radio host and producer do some form of selecting what speech is heard on their show. Yet when the hammer drops on them (who have the advantage of a much bigger microphone than we do) they cry foul. I dare you to ask that, but have some coffee with you because I bet you will be on hold until shows end lol.

    As for not being some sort of anti-Christian, give me a break. He didn’t get fired because he wrote about Easter dinner, or wearing a cross necklace or not wanting to work those End of Season special on Christmas eve (okay their not live, bad example) He was fired for delegitimizing an actual rule of this land that gay marriage is equal. Taking an entire group of people (could be his bosses, viewers, co-workers) & say somehow they are not on “his standards of marriage” (whatever that is) . Be as religious as you want, but telling me that “If you dont’ take communion you are a lesser soul” to go along with my sports highlights. Is never a good mix

  29. Dave from the suburbs says:

    It was a ridiculous statement and he deserved what he got.

    Always amazed at how so called “good Christians” can be so filled with hate.

    BTW, I am straight……and an atheist.

  30. Roger says:

    Yeah, Dave I get it – you love gays but hate Christians. Thnx.

  31. Roger says:

    Isn’t it ironic but not surprising that Brunt, Bruce Arthur and others in the media can take Avery’s side and not suffer the consequences that Goddard did when he agreed with Reynolds? It truly is a pansy liberal media.

  32. Mike V says:

    Yeah, it’s so surprising that people aren’t being fired for NOT being a bigot and embarrassing their employers.

  33. Less than 12 parsecs says:

    @Roger: Remind me where in the New Testament Christ teaches that you should call people “pansies.” I must have missed that verse in Sunday School. And in case you hadn’t figured it out, your use of that homophobic word just proved why so many commenters think your beliefs are homophobic.

  34. AnthonyX says:

    I beleive in gay marriage, I am for it and have a family member who I support. Having said that this is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    Smiley faced facsism at its worst.

  35. CeeBar says:

    @Rome: very well put.

    It’s amazing that in this day and age, that people like Goddard can so blissfully ignorant (not his actual opinion – which he’s entitled to – but that it wouldn’t end up like it has). And for those playing the “Christian persecution” card, if I was devout Muslim or Jew and said that “I agree with Person X, that anyone who eats pork or who is uncircumsized, should be shot. It’s just WRONG!”, I would be terminated just like Goddard. Regardless of persuasion, you keep your religion to yourself – in any job. Especially when your religious viewpoint is a negative one about another group or practice.

    Anyway, lots of time for Damien to pontificate (pun intended!) about the loopholes of ignoring endless sexual assaults on young boys committed by Catholic priests, or the evils of contraception.

  36. Pingback: Chugging Along On A Thursday Linkage Edition

  37. Hockey Editor says:

    @Roger: Considering that Goddard’s former employer, Rogers Communications, also owns Maclean’s magazine, I think it’s ridiculous to describe this as the handiwork of a “pansy liberal media.” Maclean’s ain’t The Nation or The New Statesman. Rogers pays guys like Ken Whyte to generate outrage among conservative-minded folk about hot-button topics. Rogers also pays guys like Andrew Krystal for that purpose. Because in those venues, they have decided that pissing people off is good for business.

    Damian Goddard’s purpose at Rogers was to say things like, “Boston 2, Minnesota 1″ and “Let’s see what the Hockey Central panel have to say about this one.”

    And, who knows, the company might just have a policy about how its employees and contractors use social media. I wonder if they were ticked that he used that publicity photo on his page – if you’re gonna trade on your identity as a broadcaster, you shouldn’t be surprised if your tweets are misinterpreted as representing the network, OR if the network tells you that things like politics, “morality,” criticizing a sponsor, criticizing MMA (that’s gottta be a firing offence at Rogers by now), or a description of a really good dump you passed this morning are Officially Off Limits.

    And nor would I be surprised if his contract said that he waived his rights to post certain things on Twitter, Facebook, etc., when he signed up for his wardrobe of Zegna sport coats and his $600 a week.

  38. Capn2patch says:

    I’m not a labour lawyer, others here would know better than I, but it sounds to me like he could have grounds for wrongful dismissal. The reason given for his termination is paper thin and I think a judge would see through that. What this boils down to is that his employer wants to project the right image and wants to disassociate itself from the views of one of their employees who broad casted their views on their own twitter account. The fact that he identifies his job status is not uncommon in social media.

    Reading through his twitter feed it is abundantly clear that he made personal statements quite frequently. If the employer has reservations or believed that this feed was for exclusive use for RS and can show that this was communicated to him then fine, case closed. But if this was never done then I think that he has the right to lost wages or restitution.

    I’d love to hear differing views.

  39. Gerry (Burlington) says:

    @Capn2patch, i supect you may be correct, but have no expertise to offer. What I do think however, is that there are a great many of employees with huge corporations using their smartphones on corporate plans paid by the corp. and making “questionable tweets” all the time. This twitter world is sure to continue gainful employment for the lawyers in employment law.

  40. Jim BOB says:

    oh well, sucks to be a prick like him, what he said was wrong, why would you follow someone elses stupidity? dumb ass

  41. AnthonyX says:

    Jim Bob, once again as a supporter of gay marriage, what Goddard said was his opinion…thats it…..and it terrifies me that you all are so ok with his dismissal.

  42. Less than 12 parsecs says:

    @Anthony Under most circumstances I’d share your fear. But the key for me here is that Reynolds’ tweet (and hence Goddard’s) didn’t talk about *their* beliefs when it came to same-sex marriage; it wasn’t a nuanced or informed argument about their feelings.

    Reynolds flat-out said that the beliefs of Sean Avery and the vast majority of the Canadian people were morally wrong – they’re sinners, in other words – and always would be. And Goddard agreed “completely and wholeheartedly.”

    If Goddard had talked about his own thinking & feeling about the issue, that’s fine in my books. (Rogers might have had different take, even then, but that would be their right.) But he didn’t.

    He went out of his way to essentially call his audience sinners (regarding a topic unrelated to his show) – not the smartest idea when you rely on that audience to watch your show, and to me anyway a pretty just cause for dismissal.

  43. Rome says:

    Great point Less, Re-reading his comment, I wonder if it would have been less problematic if he kind of stayed with the religious stance (ie traditional marriage, beliefs) he might have been able to slide through, even though I am sure he would still get heat over it. I think what really got peoples attention when he said “TRUE meaning” (with capital letters added by him) with tha,t he was being the aggressor. We literally had thousands and thousands of gay people getting married, he literally said “You are illegitimate”, even though they went through the rules and standard of our land.

    There are orthodox religions out there who don’t accept women in position of power. We would get the same reaction and fallout if somebody in the mainstream sports writes that a woman gained/earned a position doesn’t deserve that respect because they happen to be female. Can somebody write that and have an opinions, I guess. But the backlash for that is strong enough, or heck even if it doesn’t meet the standards of an employer who supports equal rights, they can feel that this person isn’t worth having around in the company.

    As for why the supporters of gay marriage are not getting the negative reaction that Goddard is. It’s because supporting gay right’s isn’t taking anybody else rights away. Now if their stance is against “breeders” or something foolish like that, than I can see a problem (especially with pregnant co-workers)

    Anybody reading what Goddard saying now, he saying he and Reynolds are BFF.

  44. Jack Zudic says:

    Rogers: I hope that Damian takes you to the cleaners as a great crisis is coming this way and your greedy life style is at risk. Your cable rates are a rip off to the people.

  45. torontosportsmedia says:

    Jack Zudic said “Rogers: I hope that Damian takes you to the cleaners as a great crisis is coming this way and your greedy life style is at risk. Your cable rates are a rip off to the people.”

    Good luck with that, there is no real competition in this market. Until there is, they will keep raking it in.

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