An anchor for one of Canada’s leading sports broadcasters was fired after tweeting in support of traditional marriage.
Rogers Sportsnet ditched announcer Damian Goddard, host of “Connected," after he took to his Twitter page to voice support for Todd Reynolds.
He wrote on his Twitter page on May 10: “I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.”
Reynolds, the Burlington hockey agent, had found himself at the center of controversy this week after criticizing the involvement of New York Rangers hockey star Sean Avery in a TV ad promoting gay marriage.
Avery recorded a message for the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality Campaign, which is pressing New York state to legally recognize same-sex marriages.
Reynolds, vice president of Uptown Sports, expressed his disappointment in Avery’s involvement with the campaign in a post on his Twitter page.
“Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.’ Legal or not, it will always be wrong,” he said.
He later tweeted again on the subject: “To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal…”
He added later: “But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.”
The tweets catapulted the agent to the center of a row over same-sex marriage. While Reynolds received some emails of support over his tweets, he said he has also received some that “you wouldn’t want to read because they were so vile.”
After Goddard, a devout Roman Catholic, came out in support of Reynolds, he was notified by Sportsnet that they would no longer be using him as their announcer. The broadcaster denies that the sacking has anything to do with Goddard’s Twitter comments.
It issued its own tweet, saying that Goddard’s views “do not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.”
Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford later issued a statement saying: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”
Goddard has no plans to retract his comments.
He told the Toronto Star, “In terms of what I said, I stand by it. I’m a devout Roman Catholic. It’s not about hate at all.”