The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

NBC suspends hockey analyst after ‘inappropriate’ sexual comments about co-workers

Jeremy Roenick, shown in 2012, was a nine-time NHL all-star who began working as an analyst for NBC Sports in 2010. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jeremy Roenick was suspended indefinitely Monday by NBC Sports for making inappropriate comments on a Barstool Sports podcast. The former NHL star joked about several on-air colleagues and suggested he’d like to have sexual encounters with at least one of them.

“Jeremy Roenick has been suspended indefinitely without pay for making inappropriate comments about his co-workers,” NBC Sports said in a statement to Sports Business Journal and others. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

Roenick, 49, was a guest last week on the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast, and early in his appearance he mentioned Kathryn Tappen of NBC Sports and Patrick Sharp, a former NHL player who also is an NBC Sports colleague. The comments about Tappen came as Roenick described his vacation last summer in Portugal with his wife, Tracy, and Tappen.

Sports Illustrated’s new owners say they’re saving the magazine. Staffers say it’s in chaos.

“Bro, when you walk into every place and you have two blond bombshells on each side — I’m telling you, your chest pops out a lot more,” he said. “They’ve got their bikinis on, they look [expletive] smokin'.”

Roenick then used slang terms for parts of the female anatomy, saying it was “great” that those parts were “everywhere” during the trip.

He added, “If you’re gonna go with two blondes, go someplace in the summer where the pool is out.”

While at a hotel in the Algarve, Roenick claimed, an older woman who was “staring at us the whole time” came over to him at the pool and asked, “Are they both with you?”

“I play it off like we’re going to bed together every night, the three of us,” Roenick told the podcast hosts. “If it really came to fruition, that would really be good, but it’s never going to happen.”

Tappen, in a statement, called those comments unacceptable.

“While Jeremy and I continue to be good friends, what he said was unacceptable, especially among workplace colleagues,” she said Tuesday. “I do not condone his comments.”

In the podcast, Roenick described Tappen as one of “the most professional sports personalities” he knew and “as prepared as anyone,” but he also said that “she wants people to respect her for her knowledge of sports, not just because she’s a pretty face.”

“I’m lucky that I’m next to her and she’s a good friend of mine,” he added of Tappen, “because there’s nobody that wants it more, and that will kick someone’s [expletive] if they disrespect her.”

In the same podcast, talk turned to Sharp, whom Roenick described as “so beautiful,” and whether Roenick would sleep with him. “I’d have to think about it if he asked me. … I wouldn’t say no right away,” he said.

Roenick then appeared to contrast Sharp’s looks with his and those of Anson Carter, another former NHL player who analyzes hockey for NBC Sports. “It’s good to have a beautiful face that talks well, that knows the game,” Roenick said, “because it’s totally the opposite when me and Anson get on there, it’s just a [expletive] show.”

Roenick had other words of praise for Sharp, calling his former Philadelphia Flyers teammate “one of the greatest, greatest guys on the planet” and “great for NBC.”

A nine-time all-star, Roenick spent 20 years in the NHL, including eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and six with the Phoenix Coyotes, as well as shorter stints with the Flyers, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.

After earning a reputation as one of the NHL’s most outspoken personalities, Roenick retired in 2009 and began working as an analyst for NBC Sports the following year. He has been covering the NHL for the network’s pre- and postgame studio shows, and he has had small roles on several TV series.

Read more:

Capitals defensemen flexing their scoring prowess

Alex Ovechkin named an All-Star Game captain but remains noncommittal about playing

Lamar Jackson won’t play against Steelers, opening door for Robert Griffin III to start