Rogers Sportsnet fires on-air host over tweets regarding same-sex marriage

TORONTO – Rogers Sportsnet has fired on-air host Damian Goddard in the wake of his tweets on the debate sparked by New York Rangers forward Sean Avery’s support of same-sex marriage.

Earlier this week, Goddard tweeted in support of hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who used Twitter to voice his opposition to Avery’s position.

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

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.

“Damian Goddard is no longer with Rogers Sportsnet. Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization,” Dave Rashford, Sportsnet’s director of communications, said in a statement.

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Tweeted Goddard: “It is times like these when I am so thankful for my Roman Catholic faith. I would be COMPLETELY lost without it.”

And: “To those who have been…well…critical of my stance, God bless you. You are all in my prayers, and I am so sad for the pain in your lives.”

Avery, an on-ice agitator who is no stranger to making headlines on and off the playing surface, 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.

Others who have taken part in the marriage equality videos include former American president Bill Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actors Julianne Moore and Sam Waterston.