(670 The Score) Opening up extensively about his firing by NBC Sports after he made a sexual joke about a co-worker and female friend on a podcast, former Blackhawks star Jeremy Roenick fired back Thursday by detailing how he "got one of the biggest raw deals of all time" while explaining that outsiders have ignored the context in the search for a "salacious" story.
"It’s been interesting," Roenick said on the McNeil & Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Thursday afternoon. "I think anybody (that) knows the situation and knows me knows I got one of the biggest raw deals of all time. And I think there’s a lot of people out there who make comments or say things who have no idea what the situation is, that don’t know the true facts, that never heard what I said or the situation of why I got fired. They’re salacious. I think a lot of the print media and some of the media is salacious and some of their things that they say, that have no idea even what I said. You can’t read off of a news clipping or off of a press release from the team that’s firing me, from NBC, and have an idea of what happened."
Roenick was fired by NBC from his hockey analyst job in February, about two months after he sat down for an interview on Spittin' Chiclets, a hockey podcast by Barstool Sports. On that episode, Roenick told a story of how while he was on vacation with his wife, Tracy, and NBC sportscaster Kathryn Tappen, a guest by the pool asked if he was with both ladies.
Recounting the story on Spittin' Chiclets, Roenick said: "I play it off like, you know, we're going to bed together every night, the three of us. Now, if it really came to fruition that would really be good, but it's never going to happen."
Roenick had originally been suspended by NBC in December.
"If I had to say anything to anyone listening or anyone who has an opinion or doesn’t have an opinion, go to wherever you find your podcasts, get the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast and listen to my interview," Roenick said. "I think it was interview 244. That was my interview. I know it well because I’ve played it for so many people, so many people that I played it for. I just said, ‘I want you to listen to what I said here. And I want to ask you if you have a problem with it.’ Let me tell you, honestly, there’s not one person – and I’ve done this hundreds of times – not one person has listened to what I said on that podcast and were not shocked as hell that I was fired for the story that I told. Shocked – they didn’t see anything wrong with it."
Do those who were shocked by Roenick's firing include Tappen herself?
"Including Kathryn Tappen, including her," Roenick said. "By the way, she has made comments to me and my wife in the same joking manner. So we are great friends. We are great friends, and we have always had fun with each other. We tease each other. We’ve made comments and loving jokes with each other. All of us. The only person that had a problem with it was my boss. That’s it."
It was then pointed out to Roenick that Tappen released a statement saying that Roenick's comment was "unacceptable." So how does he reconcile that?
"Why do you think she did that?" Roenick responded.
"I’m not going to say why, but I know why. I want you to put on your thinking hat and have an idea of why.
"I can tell you now, she didn’t want to."
Roenick apologized to Tappen, NBC co-workers and everyone involved in January, he said. It didn't help him keep his job.
He seems most upset by how people have ignored the situation's context in his opinion.
"I was told also that if I would’ve said what I said in the workplace, in the studio, I would’ve been fired on the spot," Roenick said. "But if I’m not fired on the spot and I wasn’t in my job, I wasn’t in the studio, I was on a racy podcast, I was on my own time and everybody knows it was a podcast and a storytelling podcast, if it wasn’t fire-able in December, why was it fire-able a month-and-a-half, two months later? Which is kind of crazy to me.
"The biggest disappointment is the backlash I’m getting from A) people who didn’t like me before who just want to jump on a situation and feed fire and rub salt on the wound and just be very, very mean spirited," Roenick said. "And then you have other groups and other people that obviously take any advantage they can to bash the people that don’t feed into their agenda. The media does things and writes things to get people to read and read their clippings and to read their articles and to get attention and traction that, to tell you the truth, are salacious and they’re reckless in their writings. And to tell you the truth, these people don’t know me. They don’t know the great things that I do all over the place in all different ways of life, whether it’s kids, charities, whether it’s schools, whether it’s health and wellness charities.
"So for me, that’s the most disappointing thing is that people just love to yell and scream when they have absolutely no idea the facts and everything that’s behind it. So it’s pretty crazy."