“I will not be returning to NBC. And though disappointed, I’m also grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to share my love, my passion and my knowledge of the game with millions of people, millions of fans,” Roenick said. “And for that I thank you. And even though I’m leaving NBC, I will not be gone for long. I’ll be back better and more motivated to bring you the best entertainment and the best that I have for the game of hockey.”
Roenick starred in the NHL for 20 years and earned a reputation as one of the league’s most outspoken personalities before joining NBC Sports as an analyst in 2010. In December, he appeared on a Barstool Sports podcast and made sexually suggestive remarks about on-air colleagues Kathryn Tappen and Patrick Sharp, as well as tossing an insult toward Anson Carter.
Recalling a recent vacation in Portugal he had spent with his wife and Tappen, a host on NBC Sports programs such as “NHL Live” and “NHL Overtime,” Roenick said on the podcast, “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. 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 proceeded to claim he suggested to another vacation-goer that he was having a threesome with his wife and Tappen, adding, “If it really came to fruition, that would really be good, but it’s never going to happen.”
A day after Roenick’s suspension was announced, Tappen said in a statement, “While Jeremy and I continue to be good friends, what he said was unacceptable, especially among workplace colleagues. I do not condone his comments.”
During the podcast, Roenick also joked about what he saw as Sharp’s good looks. Of the possibility of sleeping with Sharp, Roenick said, “I’d have to think about it if he asked me. … I wouldn’t say no right away."
“It’s good to have a beautiful face that talks well, that knows the game,” Roenick added of Sharp, “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, a former Philadelphia Flyers teammate, calling him “one of the greatest, greatest guys on the planet” and “great for NBC.”
Of Tappen, he said, “She wants people to respect her for her knowledge of sports, not just because she’s a pretty face.”
In January, Roenick posted an apology to NBC Sports, Tappen, Sharp and Carter for “some insensitive comments” he said he made on the podcast.
“I never meant to offend anyone, and I definitely went too far, and for that, I deeply regret it,” he said in a video he shared to social media. “I’ve called everybody involved, and I’m so thankful for their loving and gracious acceptance of my apology, and that includes my family and friends.”
“I’ve always tried to act professional, I’ve always tried to entertain, and this time I went too far, and I will make sure, in the future, that I’m mindful of people’s feelings, the sensitivities of my co-workers and of all you, my loving fans.”
NBC Sports confirmed Roenick’s departure Wednesday to the AP. A spokesperson for the network told USA Today via email, “He won’t be returning to NBC Sports. We have no further comment.”
A nine-time all-star, Roenick spent 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 over his 20 years in the NHL. He retired in 2009 and began working as an analyst for NBC Sports the following year.
In his comments Wednesday, Roenick said he was thankful for messages of support he had received.
“It’s overwhelming,” he said. “And for that, I can’t wait to see you soon.”