Former New York Post sports writer Bart Hubbuch has filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the newspaper regarding a tweet he made on President Donald Trump's Inauguration Day.
According to Larry Brown Sports, Hubbuch alleged the Post violated New York labor laws by firing him for "expressing his personal views off premises and on his own time."
Hubbuch, whose tweets regarding the New England Patriots and black quarterbacks drew controversy in September, posted a tweet with three dates: Dec. 7, 1941, Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 20, 2017. The point of his tweet was to conflate Trump's inauguration with the Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11 attacks, two of the biggest tragedies in United States history.
Hubbuch later deleted the tweet and apologized. In his suit, Hubbuch alleged the Post told him he could keep his job if he posted an apology. However, he posted a tweet Jan. 30 confirming he had been let go.
"We've talked to you about your tweeting before. This tweet was insensitive and outrageous, and therefore we are terminating you immediately," Hubbuch said he was told by Post bosses.
Hubbuch covered the NFL for the Post for nearly a decade, working the New York Jets and Giants beats along with the NFL at large. He said the newspaper did not have an explicit social media policy regarding personal views.
Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, acting CEO of Fox News and CEO of News Corp, owns the Post. Fox News is widely viewed as being a conservative, pro-Trump outlet. Murdoch also supported Trump in the presidential race, which Hubbuch said influenced the Post's decision to let him go.
The lawsuit alleged Hubbuch's firing was "influenced by Murdoch's interest in pleasing Trump and not upsetting him, now that Trump has the power to either directly benefit or harm Murdoch and 21st Century Fox," per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The lawsuit also pointed out the Post's history of controversial covers and stories: "Not known for its sensitivity, the Post regularly exploits tragedy, violence and death to sell news. It also pushes the bounds of what is considered appropriate news coverage."