More to come later, but multiple reports, including Bob McCown reading a statement online have confirmed that Gregg Zaun has been terminated by Rogers for bad behaviour. This is the first major firing to occur in the latest round of bad acts vs. female employees in Canada and in sports in the post Harvey Weinstein era.
Much more to come later
Shi Davidi has a story on firing:
“Zaun is the first person since implicated from a sports world seeking to evolve from the pervasive machismo that has been accepted as part of the culture for decades.”
Steve Buffery took an odd stance on Twitter and was greeted with an appropriate response, in my opinion:
‘Gregg Zaun’ is a very bad hill to die on.
— Glenallen Chill (@glenallenchill) December 1, 2017
Dean Blundell, former Rogers employee did not hold back:
“What I do know is Unofficially several people from Sportsnet have cited Zaun’s inappropriate use of company email as proof of serial sexual misconduct in the workplace. Rogers investigated and fuck you very much. Doneski.
If you’ve met Greg you probably wouldn’t want him helping your kids with their homework and I don’t expect him to split the atom in forced retirement. He’s EXACTLY the kind meatball that would be thick enough to use his Sportsnet account to tell chicks about his throbbing desire to swing the big stick. I have no Idea what was in the emails btw but you get the point.”
Others are chiming in with more personal experiences.
It turned out to be a graphically-worded invitation to essentially, an orgy. It had specific rules: no social media (what happens here, stays here), no significant others, cheaters welcome, “intoxication is not optional”, and more.
— Katie Lawrence Balloch (@BlueJayGal) December 1, 2017
and yet more, inclduing from south of the border
Zaun. I’m not sure what you want me to say. Guy should be run out of the network if his behavior was inappropriate to female staffers and made them uncomfortable. Have never met him. Don’t know him at all.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 1, 2017
Many have been asking when the #MeToo movement would hit sports. The first domino has fallen. Can only imagine the fitful sleep of all the perpetrators out there who have, up until now, enjoyed the safety of an industry long overdo for a reckoning. https://t.co/wQ11nGtnVR
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) December 1, 2017
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) December 1, 2017
Mike: Jonah is on West Coast time so I’ll take the morning update shift. Here are a couple more tweets of note, first from Kayla Grey of TSN, the only woman in Toronto sports to speak up:
This is only the beginning
— Kayla Grey (@Kayla_Grey) December 1, 2017
In addition to the tweet cited above, Steve Buffery also took a crack at the argument that social media should use the same standards as courts of law:
There's no defending yourself anymore. If you're accused of something now, you're automatically guilty. Twitter goes on a feeding frenzy. There's no innocent until proven guilty on social media.
— steve buffery (@Beezersun) December 1, 2017
Marcus Stroman has been quiet so far but JP Arencibia is enjoying his time in the spotlight:
I love Canada 🙏🏻 https://t.co/jY4VEAgpYe
— Jp Arencibia (@jparencibia9) December 1, 2017
Sports Illustrated picked up the story and tweeted it out to their 1.7 million followers
Blue Jays TV analyst Gregg Zaun has been fired from Sportsnet for 'inappropriate behavior and comments' toward female employees https://t.co/eFdWhPNqQf
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 1, 2017
The only Sportsnet employee I can find with anything to say on the matter is this:
On behalf of the good men in this company, I’m so sorry to whomever my female colleagues are who suffered and applaud them for coming forward.
And if there’s anybody else in this company doing whatever garbage Gregg Zaun did, shame on you.
— Lucas Meyer (@meyer_lucas) December 1, 2017
Former employee Dean Blundell has some insight into why things have been quiet:
They can't and nor should they. They have a job to do and that includes protecting the brand. They are all employees. I'm not 🙂 https://t.co/TuByzP0G4U
— Dean Blundell (@ItsDeanBlundell) December 1, 2017
As for the papers, The Star has a brief summary with no additional information. The Sun story includes the infamous 2012 tweet as well as some interesting comments from readers, such as “That’s ridiculous. He didn’t grope anyone, touch or name anyone in person. In this overly politically correct fishbowl world of ours, no one is safe from the predatory whims of the gentried elites who want to tell us how to live our lives, think and act.”
The most comprehensive report comes from Canadian Press, which includes the news that Zaun has been pulled as a speaker from a charity event in February.
More as the rest of the story unfolds …
Mike: This adds one more negative PR log to the smouldering fire that has been the Jays’ off-season. The new Fan Engagement department has its work cut out.