Why Oh Goddard Why

Let me say once again that the one thing I take great pride in is that you the readers, the contributors actually respect each other in the comments section. I don’t expect everyone to agree, but I have only blocked one comment since the site started. With that in mind…..

The issue of gay marriage is all the rage in the hockey world these days. Instead of talking about the economic state of the Thrashers and Coyotes were talking about Damien Goddard and Todd Reynolds! Who knew there were actually games going on.

For purposes of this post, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about the issue of gay marriage. it is, for these purposes irrelevant. So please, if you are going to comment on this issue, whether pro, anti or neutral please remain silent.

For those who don’t know, Sean Avery who has never been known to be the politically correct type has taken up the fight of the pro gay marriage issue. To be honest, I was quite surprised by just how little was being said about Avery’s position. It is a sensitive issue, I get that, however that hasn’t scared people off in the past.

Well, the one area I didn’t expect to hear commentary is from the agency world. Team Reynolds decided that it was going to speak out, with son Todd tweeting “Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.’ Legal or not, it will always be wrong.” amongst other things, including defending the position on TSN radio and in further tweets.

What a strange thing for an agent to tweet I thought. Agents who are in the sales business, in a very competitive field don’t usually come out and make brash comments like that. Again, I am not debating the gay marriage issue, and Todd Reynolds has the right to his opinion and to voice it as much as anyone else, it’s just rather odd.

Having said that, Reynolds works with his dad, it’s a private business and they can deal with whatever repercussions may follow (if any) on their own.

Reynolds, for what it’s worth, we’re told got a response from other agents. Not only that he was certainly the talk of twitter and many media outlets over the last day or so.

Rogers Sportsnet’s very own Damian Goddard decided to throw Reynolds a life ring on his own personal twitter:

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

That certainly got the ball rolling.

I didn’t hear all of Mccown’s discussion, and I don’t know if he discussed his colleague Goddard’s comments, but I did hear him say something along the lines of only a complete idiot would publish something like that on twitter. I can’t imagine that Mccown’s opinion would change after Goddard’s tweet.

Again, Mccown wasn’t talking about the actual issue, rather the actions on those choosing to editorialize.

I had talked to several MSMers tonight, none of which would allow me to use their names, but universally they were quite surprised by Goddard’s original tweet. “We all know that when we speak publicly we represent those who sign our paychecks, we’re constantly reminded of that” was how one reporter put it. The others echoed that sentiment. The most common rhetorical question I heard was, “why even go there?”

So of course Sportsnet has to issue the usual, we don’t believe that which our “talent” (pardon the use of the word) believes or expresses publicly.

What’s Goddard’s response?

“gonna spend some time with the wife now. to be clear, damian goddard’s tweets reflect the views of damian goddard. peace, folks!”

Clearly, in my opinion anyways not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Personally, I don’t care what Damien Goddard thinks about this or any other issue of real significance. Same with Toddy Reynolds. I am sure they could careless about my opinion either. They’re fully entitled to their opinion. I guess I just don’t understand the need to stick your neck out there to get it slapped or cut off. Reynolds at least was smart enough to do it while in his own business. Goddard may have used his own twitter account but it lists Sportsnet as his employee and has a photo of him at work. The implication certainly is that the views expressed on the site are those of a Sportsnet employee. Goddard hasn’t removed them or edited his discription so as I see the comments they are coming from a Rogers Sportsnet employee.

Bruce Arthur hit the nail on the head “One notoriously unwise member of the broadcast media threw his lot in with Todd Reynolds on Tuesday.”

Reynolds and Goddard aren’t alone out there. There are a ton of people who share their views. They are all entitled to them and allowed to share them as well. I am sure there are those who view Reynolds and Goddard as being courageous for fighting the unpopular fight, for being brave enough to say exactly how they feel. That’s not my opinion. I guess I just don’t get why even bother going there at all. Reynolds is a hockey agent. Athletes will or won’t hire him based upon their belief in his ability to represent them. Goddard is a sports journalist. Yes, unfortunately some times sports meets real world. How every journalist deals with those times is up to them. I don’t get why he chose this way.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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Jenn
Jenn
May 11, 2011 7:27 am

Don’t know if this is related, but I could not find Damian Goddard’s name on the Sportsnet “talent bios” page this morning: http://www.sportsnet.ca/bios/

Matt
Matt
May 11, 2011 7:39 am

Once again I was shocked and appalled by the public display of ignorance displayed by Mr. Goddard as he showed his ‘support’ for another bigot in Todd Reynolds through his personal twitter feed.

Aside from the obvious cringe inducing nature of the comments there is also another major flaw that transcends Mr. Goddards argument of freedom of speech. Constitutionally, he is wrong and gays and lesbians are protected under the charter and it is those rights that lead to ‘gay’ marriage being legalized in this country.

When reading comments like this I can’t help but think of a time when folks in the American South spoke in favour of segregation and how in the sports world we venerate Jackie Robinson (and rightly so) for his pioneer status in the name of equality. We all deserve more than what Mr. Goddard is shovelling.

In the end, Sportsnet needs to lead by example and relieve Mr. Goddard of his duties. I come from a family associated with pro hockey and know the sports world pretty well and let me assure you, most are onside with (of all people) Sean Avery in this case.

Brian Burke proudly marches in the gay pride parade and when my wife and I were married my best man was gay. I will be his best man in a few months when he marries his partner and I couldn’t be happier about it. Its time to move on. You don’t need someone who espouses this ignorance publicly.

Sam in Oshawa
May 11, 2011 7:55 am

Just a thought about freedom of speech,ok now back to sports.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 11, 2011 8:20 am

For purposes of this post, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about the issue of gay marriage. it is, for these purposes irrelevant. So please, if you are going to comment on this issue, whether pro, anti or neutral please remain silent.

sorry TSM, i can’t divorce the issue at hand from the question, as you put it, why “stick your neck out there to get it slapped or cut off.”

the issue at hand pertains to civic equality, by which i mean providing people access to the same legal rights as other adults in society. this is not like speaking out about visors or fighting in hockey. when you publicly speak out against civic equality, then you are not “sticking your neck out there” rather you are advocating that some people in society should be given less than a full package of rights, benefits, and opportunities.

that’s not voicing an “unpopular” opinion. that’s voicing the opinion that some people do not belong in society with everyone else, simply because they are different from you. that’s just wrong, and the reason it is “unpopular” is because it is wrong.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
May 11, 2011 8:32 am

Question for the Masses – What constitutes a Sports Journalist. I have always been confused when an employee on an all sports media station who reads highlights or calls a game becomes a sports journalist. I think of a journalist as someone that researches a topic and writes about it. I realize I am off topic, I just feel many of these talking heads don’t even deserve a moniker like journalist when all they do is read highlights. In fact it is painfully obvious at times when they read highlights to sports they know nothing about.

That said, if this topic continues to remain in the hockey world news, I will be very intrigued if Mr. Donald S. Cherry weighs in on it. I suspect even he will not tread on these waters but his inferences recently regarding the coat he wore on Coach’s Corner certainly gives us a hint of his views related to this topic.

I have to think that Sportsnet will come down on Goddard, how different is Goddard’s comments compared to the assenine comments Mike Toth spewed which took him off the air.

Rob C.
May 11, 2011 8:45 am

I heard the 4pm hour and they never talked about Goddard. Just the agent’s tweet.

Learned I’ve got twice as many followers on Twitter as Damian which made me laugh.

As for the opinion. Heck Don Cherry and Bill O’Reilly both have said they’re not against gay marriage. Wonder if Damian would call them the “Tolerant Liberal Left”?

lg toronto
lg toronto
May 11, 2011 8:47 am

first, @Gerry…i agree, a sports journalist is different from an anchor, but an anchor does usually write their own intros to pieces, so maybe that still counts!

as for Sportsnet distancing itself from Damian’s comments, i have to think that it’s a big hypocritical, considering they put their talent’s twitter pages on screen during shows.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 11, 2011 8:54 am

Gerry: I have to think that Sportsnet will come down on Goddard, how different is Goddard’s comments compared to the assenine comments Mike Toth spewed which took him off the air.

that’s an interesting comparison. a quick google reveals that Sportsnet declined to renew Toth’s contract. So he was not technically fired for his comments about women.

as to your other question, my own opinion is that journalists research and report their findings. reading a ticker or a box score is not research, so it can’t be journalism. so sports anchors are not generally speaking journalists. this is why McCown is not a journalist either. he doesn’t do his own research, or subject the rumours he hears to factual scrutiny. so, radio hosts are not generally speaking journalists either. i’m not sure whether beat reporters (Berger, etc.) are journalists.

James
James
May 11, 2011 9:01 am

Mike, while you are of course entitled to your opinion, it is predicated on a major flaw. The profession of a ‘journalism entails: “the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.”

So by that definition its clear every single person you mentioned is a journalist.

I think you are confusing a print journalist with journalism in general. That or referring to its alternate definition as basically “someone who writes a journal”.

You also seem to have defined the word “research” according to a set of arbitrary parameters. While of course reading a box score isn’t the same as following the actual game and crafting a story for example, it is not debatable that both are ‘research’. Not that research technically has a direct correlation to ‘journalism’.

McCown is not only a journalist, but one of the best. And he does little to no research. It might help to lump ‘broadcaster’ under the ‘journalist’ title.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
May 11, 2011 9:08 am

The reason I posed the question was the fact Mr. Goddard was referred to as a Sports Journalist in the story by TSM. I suppose at issue for me, is that I have always associated journalist with respect and being someone who researches a story finding all sides of the story per se. Having looked up Journalist in Webster’s it appears very little is needed to be done in order to be called a journalist. I will simply no longer associate journalist with as much respect.

I will however, continue to refer to the Damian Goddard’s of the world as talking heads.

In my opinion Stephen Brunt, Mark Fainaru Wada these are “old school Sports Journalists”.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 11, 2011 9:08 am

James, i’m sure you’re technically right about all of that. i was just answering Gerry‘s question about how people draw the line between “talking head” and “something other than talking head”.

Andy
Andy
May 11, 2011 9:34 am

@Mike (in Boston). a bit of an overstatement don’t you think? yes, from a purely legal standpoint saying you are married affords you certain privileges (in Canada at least) but the recognition of common law unions affords couples (including same sex) the same privileges as married couples. some may argue that one is better off NOT to get legally married as there are loop-holes in tax law that one can take advantage of.

but I digress, my question here is what if Todd Reynolds and Damian Goddard had taken a stance on the other side of the argument? the sad truth is that it would not have been an issue. In that respect many people are being hypocritical in their viewpoint in an effort to support same sex marriage. just for the record, I support same sex marriage but some of you can’t have it both ways. you can’t attack Reynolds and Goddard for “sticking their neck out” while not saying the same about Sean Avery.

Garrett
Garrett
May 11, 2011 10:32 am

One thing I’ve noticed that’s been forgotten in much of this debate – certainly by Reynolds and Goddard – is that Avery did not simply make a statement on his own. Rather, it was part of a larger pro-gay marriage campaign by a number of NY-area celebrities.

Many have questioned why an athlete would choose to express support for such a loaded issue via mass media or have simply written it off as a publicity stunt … yet, Avery’s video is just one of many in a series and he’s hardly the biggest name involved.

In that light, a certain degree of perspective has been lost on this issue. He is a celebrity, and celebrities routinely participate in targeted campaigns regarding one social issue or another. Why should we expect him to be any different … or, perhaps the question should be, why do we expect athletes to maintain a cone of silence about every subject except for the most vanilla and bland?

As a celeb, Avery used a common forum (a video campaign featuring a number of celebs) to express his support for a particular viewpoint. Reynolds (business feed) and Goddard (personal feed representative of his employer) did not. Personally, I see the issue as not whether a person uses their celebrity status to promote or express a certain viewpoint, but rather (a) the manner in which the person does so, and (b) what exactly the expectations of the public are in regard to said person expressing that viewpoint.

Roger
Roger
May 11, 2011 10:48 am

Why is it OK for Avery (a known clown of the NHL) to do a PSA on make belief marriage but not OK for Goddard or Reynolds to give their opinion?

This whole episode truly reveals the double standard that exists among the media. Bruce Arthur (well repsected journalist) and and McCown both went after Goddard and Reynolds and left Avery alone.

Even TSM guy is doing the same. What a joke.

Steve
Steve
May 11, 2011 11:16 am

Whether he’s wrong or right is irrelevant. He made a public statement about a controversial subject and brought negative attention to his employer.

He will either be suspended for a looonnngggg time or fired.

Let this be a lesson to sportscasters about the use of evil, seductive Twitter, which allows you so easily to open mouth and insert foot. If you’re a sportscaster, you do not have a public opinion on religion, politics or same-sex marriage unless your employer says you do.

Stick to the action on the ice.

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
May 11, 2011 12:20 pm

If this is a matter of free speech, then Reynolds was trying to limit Avery’s freedom to express his opinion. He didn’t say that he disagreed with Avery; rather he claimed that Avery should not have come out in support of gay marriage.

Like most Canadians my views on gay marriage have become more liberal in the past few years, yet I do accept that some may still have a different mindset. Nevertheless it is a bit of a lie for Reynolds (or anyone) to pretend that his free speech is being stifled when the reason for his original tweet was to castigate Avery for employing his own right to free speech.

Looks to me like Reynolds has a passive-agressive problem.

lg toronto
lg toronto
May 11, 2011 12:31 pm

@Roger i think it’s because Avery’s opinion is one of inclusion, and Goddard & Reynolds are spouting an exclusive/phobic opinion.

if someone says something racist, and then someone else says something defending that race, who do you think the MSM would be jumping on?

Rob C.
May 11, 2011 12:48 pm

Jenn pointed out no Sportsnet Bio this morning. Found this too. Doesn’t it look like an empty space of those Sportsnet who have Twitter? Hmmmm.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/twitter/

doug
doug
May 11, 2011 12:51 pm

Goddard was totally right. Why is he not allowed to voice his stand? It’s funny that so many people want Reynolds and Goddard fired for their beliefs. THAT is the most intolerant thing possible.

Rome
Rome
May 11, 2011 1:45 pm

I think it was Aruthur (might have been Cybulski) said it best yesterday, why are the people who are the quickest to step on other peoples business and lives & rights to marry who they want. Are the FIRST to cry out when THEIR speech rights are (in their mind) being shut down. (by they way it’s not, you can say whatever you want, people can react to it with what they want)

I know Reynolds whined about being called a bigot, but that’s the thing with speech it can go both ways (pun unintended) if you say something but somehow not expect a response?

As for Goddard, as he lives in a nation that has gay marriage for a while now, IMO speaking out against this is like speaking out against inter-racial marriage, sure you can do that. But we have the ability to form an opinion of that person.

Ha TSM glad you noticed the “Gonna spend time with my wife” after telling a bunch of people that they aren’t worthy of having a marriage spouse of their own. Maybe she can help him with the help want ads. Some others in sports are talking about this. Marek said “140 characters of rope”.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
May 11, 2011 1:49 pm

Well dough boy has chimed in on the suject. Interesting that he practically ignores what Goddard had to say on the issue. He is so predictable.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 11, 2011 1:54 pm

Gerry (Burlington) Says…
Well dough boy has chimed in on the suject. Interesting that he practically ignores what Goddard had to say on the issue. He is so predictable.

yeah, i was a little surprised by how little time he spent on the implications of a member of the media using his work affiliated Twitter account to speak out against marriage equality. i would have thought that would be a central issue for a media critic.

i haven’t put much stock into all the accusations of Bruce having a Rogers friendly bias, but this omission is pretty glaring.

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
May 11, 2011 2:23 pm

Just glanced at Dowbiggen’s article. Apparently, according to him, Reynolds is the victim.

Someone pointed this out above, but the essence of free speech means that the government can’t stop you from talking. It doesn’t protect people from criticism. Reynolds does have free speech, and others have the freedom to call him on the floor for it.

Speaking of overblown rhetoric, Dowbiggen just drew a comparison to the Weimar republic, as in pre-Nazi Germany. You know that you can’t make a sound argument when you have to pull out the Nazi card.

Jenn
Jenn
May 11, 2011 2:28 pm

I think Avery pretty much expected to get some comments/opinions from people who didn’t agree with him supporting gay marriage. So, I don’t understand what’s so wrong or surprising about Reynolds and Goddard getting taken to task for making those very comments. If you make inflammatory statements, be prepared to feel some heat.

Roger
Roger
May 11, 2011 2:37 pm

Jenn,

How is saying you don’t agree with gay-make-believe marriage inflammatory? Its his opinion which is shared by almost 50% of Canada’s population.

Ten years ago, no one had ever heard of gay-make-believe marriage, had they? Thanks to the ever powerful gay lobby, EVERYONE is now aware of it.

Mike V
Mike V
May 11, 2011 2:47 pm

“gay-make-believe marriage”

As opposed to straight-make-believe marriage?

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
May 11, 2011 2:48 pm

Couple of days ago, I was starting to wonder if many people were still coming to this webpage, the comments had really slowed down.

Looks like that is not the case. It is great to see to read all these comments. Interesting dialogue, so much better than most comments read on everyday sports web pages from the masses.

Ron
Ron
May 11, 2011 4:33 pm

@Roger

Mike (in Boston) said it best, this is why Goddard, Reynolds, and apparently, you, are making inflammatory statements.

“that’s not voicing an “unpopular” opinion. that’s voicing the opinion that some people do not belong in society with everyone else, simply because they are different from you. that’s just wrong, and the reason it is “unpopular” is because it is wrong.”

I don’t want to feed the trolls but feel like I gotta ask: what about gay marriage is “make-believe”?

Jenn
Jenn
May 11, 2011 5:35 pm

Roger,
My non-make-believe-lesbian LEGAL marriage is quite real, thank you very much.

It’s not a difficult concept to understand. Someone stating an opinion that is both discriminatory and mostly unpopular (“50% of Canadians” is far from accurate I’m sure), is going to generate negative criticism.
Just as any suggestion to remove “God keep our land” from our National Anthem would generate strong criticism, as I’ve learned first hand. (an unpopular idea, but at least not discriminatory but I digress).

Anyway, I also kinda feel that Goddard was probably on his way out at Sportsnet and used this twitter incident to go out with a bang.

Ron
Ron
May 11, 2011 6:01 pm

Jenn, I heard your partner was Cinderella… 😉

Ron
Ron
May 11, 2011 6:08 pm

Also, where were these guys during the times when the Burkes were making headlines. Taking potshots at Avery is way easier I guess. That just strikes me as cowardly. If Goddard et al are opposed to gay marriage when one of the biggest dbags in hockey is supporting it, why weren’t they opposed when a respected and gay member of the hockey community lost his life, and his father, also a respected member of the hockey community joined the pride parade. Sure calls for an end to gay marriage should be appropriate all of the time in the name of sanctity?

And finally, I agree that Goddard was already done for and threw himself into the spotlight before Rogers could take it away.

Cam
Cam
May 11, 2011 6:12 pm

I think the Goddard and Reynolds situations are distinctly different.

Reynolds used his own company’s facilities to state his opinion. One can argue the business wisdom of wading into such a controversial subject, but it is his opinion and he is entitled to it. At the same time, once you enter into a public forum to state that opinion you are fair game. The problem is that you are just as likely to have your character assailed as you are you opinion.

Goddard’s public comments are governed by the policy of his employer, especially given the link to Sportsnet in the profile. You take a public controversial stand as a broadcaster; you risk the reaction and subsequent consequences from the employer. However, given the nature of comments from others within the Rogers Broadcast family, I suspect there was more around “fit” than just this. Besides, it would make for an interesting HR situation if this was a faith based declaration….

Twitter is an interesting challenge for those in the public eye. It is immediate and a great way to engage with fans. However, the immediacy is a double edge sword with reaction swift and sometimes unpredictable. As more incidents like this one and Rashard Mendenhall’s surface and impact the pocket book, the filters may take over rendering it like any other traditional media channel.

Jenn
Jenn
May 11, 2011 7:42 pm

@Ron She’s my Cinderella and I’m her Snow White. Just a couple of hockey loving princesses. lol

😉

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
May 11, 2011 11:39 pm

@Roger There’s a little thing called Google, with which you can look up other things called facts: http://civilliberty.about.com/b/2006/04/06/canada-new-conservative-prime-minister-wants-to-reconsider-gay-marriage-two-thirds-of-canadians-dont.htm

A large majority of our country is in favour of same-sex marriage.

@Doug Actually, the most intolerant thing is not firing someone because they espouse the belief that most Canadians are flat out sinners and are morally wrong for supporting a constitutional decision about human equality; a far more intolerant thing would be to deprive people of basic human rights because of a gender preference which is not volitional.

Roger
Roger
May 12, 2011 8:39 am

Jenn,

So sorry your lige turned out so messy. You can still get help, you know.

BTW, I love my car – can I marry it?

Andy
Andy
May 12, 2011 9:59 am

@ Cam, I agree with you but what of Avery? are his “public comments (are) governed by the policy of his employer” as well? I think there is more than a little hypocrisy going on with this issue.

Less than 12 parsecs
Less than 12 parsecs
May 12, 2011 10:12 am

@Roger I can’t disagree with you about the fact that Jenn’s “lige” may be messy; however her life sounds great.

@Cam That’s up to Avery’s employer to decide, as it was in Goddard’s case. Speaking out as part of an organized campaign to help people get basic human rights, in a world where gay bashing is still an all too common occurrence and where sports folks like Reynolds and Goddard have demonstrated real hostility, seems more like an act of bravery to me. I assume that the Rangers feel the same way. I’m not sure why that’s hypocritical.

Rome
Rome
May 12, 2011 9:31 pm

Wait a gay lobby? The best decorated room out there

So what’s their agenda? First step, get equal rights and be treated as individuals and respect like everybody else. Second Step, get Steve & Chris show on CBC. Next step turn everybody gay!!!!

This isn’t a “special interst”. These are people

First local “sports person” (former) who really came out for for Goddard that I heard was Jim Richards who really took up for him as a nice guy, who doesn’t hate. But he even understands opening this can of worms it makes it a dicey situation. He was against the hateful reaction returned to Goddard. But for me I would say if you went out and fought for equal rights to get married, just to have a guy call it illegitimate, that would be conisdered pretty hurtful too.

Apolonia Valtierra
Apolonia Valtierra
November 20, 2019 12:02 pm

The more I read, the better your material is.

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