Toronto Broadcaster Fired After Tweets On Sean Avery, Same-Sex Marriage Debate

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — A Toronto broadcaster has been fired after he posted on Twitter about the debate surrounding Rangers forward Sean Avery’s support of same-sex marriage.

Damian Goddard was a host on Rogers Sportsnet. On Tuesday, he tweeted his support for hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who used Twitter to voice his opposition to Avery’s position.

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

The TV network then issued its own tweet, saying: “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.” On Wednesday, it severed ties with Goddard.

In a statement, Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford said: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”

Avery, an agitator who is no stranger to making headlines on and off the ice, stated his support for same-sex marriage in a video that is part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign, organized by gay-rights organization Human Rights Campaign.

“I’m Sean Avery and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated and that applies to marriage,” Avery says in the 30-second clip. “Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love. Join me in supporting marriage equality.”

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Rodin

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    PS –
    It’s “st-Y-le”, not “st-I-le”.

  • Rodin

    Readers, I introduce you all to the impostor “Rodin” in the following TWO posts. The third is legit.

    Of course many of you know him already since someone, other than me, keeps reporting his comments and they get deleted. I don’t bother. I like to leave them up because I believe freedom of speech shines the light on the gutter and exposes cowards in search of an identity who impersonate others and whose comments speak only about themselves. I also trust other commentators can tell the difference between fake and real by our very comments. He believes you can’t.

    As to the clever, comical farcical impostor “Rodin” who finds my love of Dogs a great source of amusement:

    TRUE, I’d much rather lie with my Dogs than walk by your side.

    MY DOGS SAVED MY LIFE. Literally. Need I say more?

    So my life is consumed by the decency of Canines and the abuses they suffer at the hands of “humans” and I dedicate most of my time to them, as in my newsletter, SCOOP & HOWL. Google it.

    Then Google “The Anasagasti List” and “Noose and Nail – The Light of the World”. The rest of my time I dedicate to fighting against religious folly and for freedom FROM religion.

    What haveYOU done for anyone lately? Spill your bile here is it?

    This is the one and only time I will address you. Post what you will. You can’t touch me. I just think you’re jealous cuz you can’t reach to lick your own.

    • Rodin

      The comment below IS mine. The fake Rodin’s have been deleted. I ask readers to be aware that there is an impostor signing “Rodin” trying to embarrass me, which he cannot. I’m too old to die young.

  • PRB

    You are an enemy to intelligence and decency and I pity you.

  • Rodin

    I’m all for same sex marriage AND freedom of expression.

    The disclaimer from the network, “Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet”, should have sufficed.

  • Rodin

    Maybe it would be better, easier and cheaper to send Jamaicans back to Jamaica to rot in their misery and poverty.

    Just back from Montego Bay. Ugh! After 25 years, no progress. Still must call a local restaurant to send a car for you because you can’t leave your resort without being hustled and harassed by beggars and hawkers and taxis are unsafe and dishonest.

  • TomNJ

    Yes, a private organization has the right to fire anyone, anytime for anything. Unless of course, the employee is gay, then God forbid you fire them for that. See, being gay and speaking out about gay rights is protected, being straight and speaking out for straight values is not. Double standards.

  • jh


  • The Cryptojournalist

    Oh Canada. Our home and native land. True patriot love, and keep a lid on the personal sentiment online

  • pugphan

    Gays are fond of saying that Jesus didn’t say anything against them, but HE did say: 1) Man shall live by every word that comes forth from he mouth of God, who has condemned it in the old testament, as an abomination; and 2) check out Mat: 19: 3-12, where Jesus says: They are not meant to marry, for they are born that way. smokersodysseycom

  • Darrin

    Dominick is right. The essence of what it means to be free is the right to stand for the values you hold dear, whatever they are. This nation was founded on religious freedom, yet any and every cause except the freedom to stand up for religious values and convictions is respected in our society. The greatest hypocrisy is that those who demand tolerance have none for any viewpoint differing from their own.

    • Free Speech Fan

      Who stops you from going to church? Who stops you from calling god whatever name you choose? Who stops you from living according to your beliefs? No one, certainly not the law of the land. But the law of the land stops gay people from living according to theirs, restricts the legal freedoms that everybody else enjoys, and in some cases and places, makes them criminals for doing so. The greatest hypocrisy is shouting for freedom while creating laws that restrict it for others.

    • Rodin

      1 – Toronto is in Canada.

      2 – “This nation was founded on religious freedom….” A mistake. Freedom FROM religion would have avoided us all this squabbling.

      3 – Keep you faith out of my face and I’ll keep my UN-faith out of yours.

  • Free Speech Fan

    A fascist state is when you get arrested and jailed for your speech. Goddard worked for a PRIVATE company, that has every right to set standards and practices of their employees’ behavior. You the legal right to say what you want, but they have every right to fire you in a FREE and Capitalist society.

  • Mike

    God created Adam and Eve . .NOT Adam and Steve . .. ENOUGH SAID !. gay marriage is a gross sin ! PERIOD

    • steven joseph rotolo

      God does not exist. It is a myth. You would be better off worshipping Sauron from the Lord of the Rings. So there.

      • Mike

        I worship Snookie.

    • Rodin

      Keep your faith out of my face!


      • kendra

        I’m gonna god-bag you!

      • Rodin

        That’s funny!

  • Bell Toller

    The show Rogers Sportsnet has no right firing Mr. Goddard. He has the right to express his own opinion.

    This is a violation of civill rights.

    • steven joseph rotolo

      I always find it irritating how some people completely misconstrue what freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech prevents the government from putting you in jail for expressing your opinion, and also prevents the government from censoring you. Freedom of speech DOES NOT compel an employer to keep you under their employ after writing stupid things on twitter. That would fall under corporate policy, so I would suggest that you carefully read your employee handbook before twittering away.

      • prb

        Well said.

        If you are employed in a public broadcasting company, you should know full well that anything you say ON AIR that isolates and entire group or demographic and thereby costs the company listeners/viewers is liable to result in your AT WILL employment termination.

        If Mr. Goddard was expressing his opinion over lunch at a restaurant and someone overheard him, and that resulted in his firing, that is a far different situation and WOULD be a violation of civil rights, Personally, I dont thing Rogers Sportsnet needed to fire him, but that being said, unless he had some guarantee in his contract (which has not been mentioned as of yet) Rogers Sportsnet was well within their rights to end his employment.

  • Dominick Mezzapesa

    So Avery has a right to speak his feeling, But if someone else says their opinion…you get fired?

    I am sorry, this is wrong. I am all for Gay marriage people speaking their mind and saying what they feel, but the people against gay marriage should have the same exact right also.

    The gay community should be on the phone with Toronto and say they were wrong to fire this broadcaster.

  • Devils Fan

    This is such B.S. The Gay Mafia has to much damn power. On I side note Sean Avery dose not treat people nicely.

    • scar

      “The Gay Mafia” ? Really?!? Please.

      How much damn power should they have? Enough to live only in hiding under your rule? Or enough to speak out only when their statements have been approved by the Straight, “Normal” people?

      And maybe Sean Avery ‘dose not treat people nicely’ Maybe neither ‘dose’ Marty Brodeur. So maybe we should only allow people who have never been anything but perfect in their past influecnce opinions. Should be a short list.

  • Kevin

    Big foot in mouth anti gay person gets fired.
    Good for Avery…Good for Rogers sportsnet!

    We live in America and Canada, not some fascist state

    • Dominick Mezzapesa

      You said “We live in America and Canada, not some fascist state” and one of our most beloved freedoms is the right to free speech.

      So anyone who is religious and is against Gay marriage should be fired? I think that is exactly was a fascist state is.

      If gay people want the freedom to speak out for gay marriage, then they should also let other people who respectfully disagree also have the same right to speak out.

      I am all for firing people who say demeaning, or objectionable comments, but to fire someone who tweeted he was against it, is wrong and defeats the purpose of the gay community.

      • jtorres

        I agree with everything you said but like the first line begins “We live in America…” Everyone keeps taking about the Bill of Rights and Freedom of Speech. That’s part of the US Constitution, not necessarily Canada’s. What’s more, in the private industry they can institute any rules they want and fire you at will. there are no union rules protecting you

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