Sometimes Its Better To Keep Your Mouth Shut

New York Rangers forward Shawn Avery has stirred up controversy again. Although, to be fair, this time it really isn’t his  fault. The other day Avery came out in support of same-sex marriage, saying that everyone should be equal and have equal rights to marry, including gays. Now, Avery wasn’t just doing this to sound off on his opinion, he was doing it for a good cause, the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. The campaign is to try to take away from discrimination that gays and lesbians face.

The problem wasn’t what Avery said though, it was the response from Todd Reynolds, Tweeting under his agency business Uptown Sports. Uptown represents NHL players, including two of my favourites Mike Fisher and Chris Neil. Reynolds, who was in no way involved in the original message from Avery, thought it was worth his time to Tweet this.

Then, following some bashing from those asking why he even bothered to Tweet this, he went on the defensive with these two Tweets.

Now he does have one thing right here, he is entitled to his own personal viewpoint. However, he obviously feels very strongly about it if he took the time to Tweet just because Shawn Avery came out in support of gay marriage earlier in the  day. People say they support gay marriage every day, so its not as if it is rarity. The use of the words “misguided” and “very sad” show that he believes strongly that marriage should be between a man and a women. It also shows that he doesn’t think that Avery should be able to have that opinion. So, yes, he is expressing his own “personal viewpoint”, but he also makes it seem like everyone else should agree with him, or else they are “misguided” and wrong.

My biggest problem is that he says he thinks everyone is equal, to go on to say that gays shouldn’t have equal rights to marry. Talk about contradicting yourself. For full disclosure, I support gay marriage because it doesn’t negatively impact me in any way whatsoever. I have no reason not to support it.

Now here is how this relates back to sports media. Many people have sounded off on the debate on Twitter, most taking the side of Avery (that’s a first). However, this morning Sportsnet’s Damien Goddard decided to support Reynolds. Now I should point out that Goddard’s account isn’t verified and he only has 173 followers. However, he isn’t exactly that well known and he is followed by two guys who work in Sportsnet’s PR department and the Sportsnet Twitter account itself, so I’d say chances are it is Goddard. He Tweeted this

It is Goddard who I think made the biggest mistake. He works in media for the second biggest sports channel in Canada. If you are on TV, then you aren’t supposed to make controversial statements that might drive away viewers from your station. Goddard is an anchor on Connected. I’m not sure how his employer will react to his statement, but they should let him know how stupid it is to make a comment like that.

Then again, I suppose I’m only one of those on the “Liberal left” who is “lost”, according to Goddard in another Tweet. For what its worth on that issue, I supported the Conservatives in the last election.

15 thoughts on “Sometimes Its Better To Keep Your Mouth Shut

  1. Wow, terrible move by Goddard.

    You ever watch the old Aaron Sorkin show “Sports Night”, Josh? This feels like something that could have happened on there.

  2. The Rogers Sportsnet official Twitter account is now replying to people saying that Goddard’s Tweet doesn’t reflect the views of the station.

  3. The conservative party has given up on their traditional social agenda. They are almost identical to the NDP and Liberals with respect to same sex marriage laws and abortion rights. Attracting Liberal minded voters appears like a much higher priority to them than pursuing social conservatism.

    I agree with you about same sex marriage. That being said, it is very good that Sportsnet seems to be giving their employees some freedom to express their views, instead of relentlessly pursuing the “politically correct” stance. Goddard is lucky in this respect because most corporations would react very unfavourably to controversial comments like these, especially when the “un-PC” view is being expressed.

    • You say “it is very good that Sportsnet seems to be giving their employees some freedom to express their views, instead of relentlessly pursuing the “politically correct” stance.” Except Sportsnet sent out tweets yesterday afternoon stating that Goddard’s position does not reflect that of the network. Do you think they would have sent that disclaimer if Goddard had expressed complete agreement with Avery? True, he has not suffered any punishment from Sportsnet (that we know of), but the fact that Sportsnet PR felt the need to respond in such a way tells me that this was not the “correct” opinion in the eyes of HQ.

      • True, they do say it doesn’t reflect the views of the network. It would be better if they had issued more of a blanket statement such as “Tweets reflect the opinions of individual personalities and do not NECESSARILY reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.” That would leave it a little more neutral and still absolve somewhat Sportsnet from the ‘humiliation’.

        My comment was based on the fact that I we are unaware of any reprimands, and that I believed the response from Sportsnet was neutral enough that it did not affirm a stance either way. Upon further review, this may not entirely be the case as their tweet does in fact seem to suggest that the network disagrees with Goddard. At least he has not been fired for stating an opinion.

        • So he’s been fired. Looks like my praise was premature and they did their worst to allow freedom of expression.

    • I would nto say most if you say something or post something on your private time very few companys would care.

      • The difference is that his Twitter feed is directly connected to his job. He works in media, he should know that if he wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) say it on the air, he shouldn’t say it on Twitter. People have been fired for saying stupid things (usually about their boss) on Facebook before.

  4. I bet Damien Goddard gets suspended.

  5. Pingback: Bringing You Some Mid-Week Links

    • Exactly, Marc! It was all about the tweet, and there was no way that Goddard could stay employed. A stupid, dumb move on his part.

      • I agree with you guys on this. While I don’t agree with what he said, I have no problem with him having that opinion. The problem was that he felt the need to tell everyone else for some reason.

      • Was it stupid yes however people have the right to free speech and people don’t all have the same opinion.With that said i don’t agree with what he said but i don’t think he should have been fired if we start saying people should be fired for coments they make we soon will be a 3rd world country.

  6. Pingback: Sports and News Links – May 12, 2011 « The (Convoluted) Mind of a Single Man

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