Former Sportsnet personality Damian Goddard working for NOM

Former Sportsnet on-air host, Damian Goddard is now working for a new branch of the National Organization for Marriage, a US anti-gay group.

Goddard is named as a primary staff member (along with former NOM chairman Maggie Gallagher) of a NOM initiative called MarriageADA.

The goal of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is to create a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage, to nip the climate of fear being created in the bud, to expose for fair-minded Americans on both sides of the  debate the threats being made, to conduct high-quality qualitative and quantitative research documenting the extent of the harm, to develop legislative and community proposal to protect Americans right to engage in the core civil rights: to organize, to vote, to speak, to donate, and to write for marriage.

MarriageADA ‘s first client is a guy named Frank Turek,  whose opposition to marriage equality goes beyond casual off the job site objections. (see his 6 part YouTube series: Nothing Gay About It) Turek says he lost  leadership seminar contracts with Cisco and Bank of America because his latest book.

Goddard, who worked in Canadian sports broadcasting for 15 of his  20 year career, says he was fired as a weekend sportscaster because of a tweet from his personal account May 10th.

“I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and true meaning of marriage”

New York Rangers enforcer Sean Avery had tweeted about his support for same-sex marriage, and  Burlington Ontario Uptown Sports Management’s Todd Reynolds sparked a Twitter debate when he tweeted his opposition to Avery’s position.   An hour after Goddard’s tweet, Rogers Sportsnet tweeted,

“Today’s tweet from Damian Goddard does not reflect the views of Rogers Sportsnet.”

His contract was terminated the next day. Rogers Sportsnet statement 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.”

During an appearance on The Michael Coren Show Goddard seems to reinforce the Rogers Sportsnet  publicly stated position when he talks about a May 1st conflict in the newsroom (starts at 10:27 “Could it be that you are a right pain the the backside…”) He  says he doesn’t know where the Rogers decision came from.

Goddard announced he was planning to file a Human Rights Complaint,  and mentioned it again in the above Coren interview, but to date I can’t find one filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.  Goddards last mention of filing was in a tweet August 17th  that “things were moving along on the human rights front.”

The day after the Coren show Goddard tweeted -




Later in the Coren interview Goddard’s lawyer Bill Gale makes an appearance. He believes Goddard was terminated because of the tweet, while defending the fairness and experience of the HRC in employment cases.

Goddard said on Sun News Byline that, “he never stood in some sort of pulpit in the workplace and pounded a bible down people’s throats.” He added that, “he  needed to make his stance to at least empower those out there who are feeling a a little bullied by circumstances of this nature of quieting people who have different views.”

I’m puzzled as to why Goddard would take a job with NOM.  He might as well tattoo anti-gay extremist on his forehead.  NOM is a giant step to the fringe of the US religious right.
I didn’t think the tweet was the cause for termination,  back in May or now; Rogers Sportsnet wouldn’t be the first company to have a knee-jerk reaction to an on-air personality’s personal opinion.  Every news report on Goddard’s tweet expouses his belief he is a victim of religious discrimination. His opinion has become a common belief in the public realm. An HRC hearing would draw out facts and I’ve wondered when there will be an announcement that Goddard has actually filed his complaint.
Goddard’s job with NOM is cause for a personal re-think, religious discrimination may not be cause, and that perhaps Rogers Sportsnet had more to consider than a tweet.  We’ll see.

Update:  There is still no word on a whether Damian Goddard has filed a HRC. He has taken the job of spokesperson for NOM.



Update: The CHRT dismissed Goddards complaint, stating, ““The evidence does not support a link between the complainant’s religion and the termination of his employment contract”. Goddard says he ‘will take this fight to the next stage’. (Federal Court of Canada, then Federal Court of Appeal, then Supreme Court of Canada)

Update: Goddard won’t be appealing.

Goddard - no appeal

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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5 Responses to Former Sportsnet personality Damian Goddard working for NOM

  1. Mark Byron says:

    I’m not sure that the NOM is the “fringe of the US religious right.” It’s fairly mainstream within that realm and has a large Catholic face within it; that Catholic presence makes it somewhat outside the orbit of a lot of the more evangelical theocon groups south of the border. That will give NOM better treatment in less-evangelical conservative groups, like the Catholic-oriented National Review.

    As far a Goodard is concerned, he wouldn’t be the first person (or the last) to get fired for be pro-traditional-marriage in a media realm that assumes that gay-rights including same-sex-marriage is a given. Since the Human Rights Commissions in Canada have a tendency to lean towards the left on such issues, he is likely not to get much of a friendly ear there.

    He’s in an awkward spot where any traditional outlet who’d hire him would catch fire from the gay-rights side of the aisle, so he may be stuck being something of a professional theocon.

  2. BD says:

    NOM has a lot of money Mark, most coming from Catholic/Mormon interests.

    Followers – not so much – they share audience with AFA, FRC, Scott Lively and some of the other fringe groups who worked to get the kill the gays Uganda bill passed.
    Good mailing list, low turnout at events.

    They act traditional, but you don’t have to dig too deep at all to see where they are willing to go. It would be like working for Bill Donohue.

    If Goddard took his case to the HRC and it was religious discrimination, he’d win.
    As for a job in broadcasting, they are few and far between. Gay rights groups in Canada might (big might) make some nois,e but again it would become an HRC issue.
    He has a family to feed, at least NOM is a paycheck, but if he bought into NOM being a nice Catholic group which supports traditional marriage, he’ll learn, and he’d narrow his opportunity for a mainstream job for sure. Don’t understand why a Canadian would work with an organization denying US families rights.

  3. Pingback: Former Canadian sportscaster now spokesperson for US anti-gay group NOM | Bene Diction Blogs On

  4. Bene D says:

    Supporting Uptown managements views on marriage was not to bright.
    The President of Uptown, Don Reynolds thinks homosexuality and bestiality are the same thing:

    It’s sad. I mean, my personal position is that I do not support gay marriage, and I think it’s wrong, as well. It’s not politically correct to, I guess, give your opinion about a thing like that. It’s politically correct on the other side, for people to say, ‘sure, I support gay marriage.’ But the majority, I think, of Canadians would say that they don’t agree with gay marriage – that man and woman were created to be married, not man and man or man and horse, you know?”

    I commend professional athletes for standing up against this level of ignorance.

  5. Pingback: Fumbling this political football? | Bene Diction Blogs On

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