Fox Sports has been sued by Jerry Davis, a former exec who claims he was denied a promotion and later fired because he is black. The 4/4 filing in LA Superior Court names Fox Cable Network Services, Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports and Fox Networks Group as defendants.
The suit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, alleges causes of action for unlawful discrimination based on race and disability, as well as retaliation and a failure to accommodate disability, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Davis claims he is a 52 year old black man who worked at Fox Sports for more than 15 years as a director in the music department. When the position directly senior to him became available four separate times, he was passed over “because, as a black man, he did not fit neatly into the company’s corporate culture.”
Davis says he did not receive a single promotion during his years at the company. In February, Fox is alleged to have eliminated his position when he was on disability leave “Without providing any interactive process or attempts at accommodation.”
“In the division that runs broadcast / ‘over the air’ sports programming for Fox, there are currently approximately 34 individuals employed at or above the vice president level. None are black,” the suit reads. “Indeed, to the best of Mr. Davis’ knowledge, no black person has ever held any position at or above vice president in that division’s 19 year existence.”
RBR-TVBR observation: If these claims are proven true, Davis has a pretty powerful case here. What Fox Sports should also worry about is whether other Black employees enjoin this suit or file their own, based on similar claims. Fox Sports will certainly have to show why Davis was passed over for promotions and paint him in a seriously negative light. This could get messy for the company if it is not settled out of court soon.