TORONTO, June 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Veteran TV personality Damian Goddard,
who was fired after tweeting about his support of the Catholic Church's
stance on marriage, will be filing a Human Rights complaint against his
former employer, Rogers Communications Inc.
On May 10, 2011, Goddard, a lifelong Roman Catholic, issued a tweet from
his personal Twitter account stating: "I completely and whole-heartedly
support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and true
meaning of marriage." Approximately 24 hours later, Goddard, who has
worked as a TV sports broadcaster in Canada for the past 15 years, was
terminated from his position as an announcer on Rogers Sportsnet.
"We believe this sudden and very public termination represents a clear
violation of Damian's freedom of speech and his freedom of religion -
two fundamental rights that are supposed to be afforded to every
Canadian," said William Gale, a partner with employment and labour law
firm Grosman, Grosman & Gale, which is representing Goddard in this
matter. "Critics on Twitter were calling for his head because he
expressed a commonly held opinion that they didn't like. Rogers
answered that call swiftly and publicly. By doing so, they cemented the
impression that his Catholic beliefs are inappropriate and grounds for
dismissal. We also contend that unless it is challenged, this
'termination after a tweet' threatens to set a dangerous precedent for
all Canadians in this still-evolving world of social media."
Over the past six weeks, Goddard's termination by Rogers Communications
Inc. has generated international media coverage.
"My message to the millions of Canadians participating in social media
is that 'this can happen to you'," said Goddard. "I was terminated 24
hours after expressing a widely-held opinion from my personal Twitter
account - an opinion consistent with the teachings of the Catholic
Church. And an opinion that is supposed to be protected by Canada's
SOURCE Damian Goddard
For further information:
Andrea Porter, 416-364-9599