NFL Network Suspends Three Commentators For Sexual Harassment, ESPN Follows With Two Suspensions
Five more male media figures have been accused of sexual misconduct, and all have been subsequently suspended.
NFL Network sexual harassment suspensions news
The NFL Network has suspended commentators Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans following allegations of sexual harassment in a lawsuit presented by a former wardrobe stylist for the network.
In the lawsuit, filed against NFL Enterprises, the woman claims Faulk asked her “deeply personal and invasive questions” about her sex life and groped her breasts and behind; that Taylor sent her “sexually inappropriate” pictures of himself along with a video of him masturbating in the shower; and that Evans propositioned her for sex multiple times and also sent the woman nude pictures of himself.
Another sports network quickly followed suit after the same woman also accused two other former NFL Network employees: ESPN suspended ex-NFL stars Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis, who both host radio shows. Davis also works for Fox Sports 1.
The woman, named Jami Cantor, also accused former executive producer Eric Weinberger, who left in 2015 to become president of Bill Simmons’s Ringer media group, and Warren Sapp, who was fired by the network in 2015 after he was caught soliciting a prostitute at the Super Bowl.
Cantor alleged Weinberger sent her “several nude pictures of himself and sexually explicit texts” and told her she was “put on earth to pleasure me.” Weinberger has been placed on indefinite leave.
#UPDATE ESPN spokesman on Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis sexual harassment allegations at the NFL Network: “We are investigating and McNabb and Davis will not appear on our networks as that investigation proceeds. “
— Tim Jimenez (@TimJRadio) December 12, 2017
Cantor worked as a wardrobe stylist for NFL Network from 2006 until she was fired in October 2016. In her lawsuit, she claimed not only sexual misconduct but also age and sex discrimination and wrongful termination.
She said McNabb sent her sexually explicit text messages, while Davis made inappropriate comments and groped her.
McNabb left the NFL Network in 2013, but later lost a job with Fox Sports after pleading guilty to drunken driving in November 2015.
“The supervisors knew about it, the supervisors observed it,” Cantor’s lawyer, Laura Horton, said in an interview on Monday. “It was insidious in this particular environment.”
Here is an amended copy of the lawsuit filed by Cantor:
Faulk, Evans and Taylor all had long and successful NFL careers that included a Super Bowl title. Faulk, a seven-time Pro Bowler who played for the Indianapolis Colts and the St. Louis Rams, won the Super Bowl with the Rams after the 1999 season and retired in 2007. Taylor spent his entire 12-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowl titles before retiring in 2015. Evans played for four teams across 10 seasons, winning a championship with the New Orleans Saints in 2010. He retired in 2011.
The accusations against all of them come after a string of sexual harassment and assault revelations that have rocked multiple industries, from Hollywood and the arts to journalism and the food industry, and that a began with an Oct. 5 New York Times report on now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. Chef Mario Batali and restaurateur Ken Friedman — who owns the Spotted Pig restaurant in New York City — are among the latest predators facing allegations.
Other sports figures that have recently been accused of sexual harassment include former Fox Sports executive Jamie Horowitz, the former major league catcher Gregg Zaun, and former NFL quarterback Warren Moon.
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 16: Quaretrback Donovan McNabb # 5 of the Minnesota Vikings passes during the game against the Chicago Bears on October 16, 2011 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)