NFL Employment Discrimination Probe Launched by NY, CA Attorneys General

California's Rob Bonta and Letitia James of New York issued subpoenas to NFL execs

The NFL Network headquarters building in Inglewood, CA.
There are allegations of discrimination within the NFL's corporate offices.
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty

After expressing her “grave concerns” that the NFL’s “workplace culture is overtly hostile to women” in a letter last April, New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation into employment discrimination within the league’s corporate offices along with California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Based on allegations made by former employees, including potential violations of federal and state pay equity laws and anti-discrimination rules, the attorneys general issued subpoenas to NFL executives seeking relevant info.

 “Despite reports and allegations of abuse perpetrated by both players and male staff, reports that the NFL has not taken sufficient effective steps to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation from occurring in the workplace persist,” according to a news release. “Attorney General James and Attorney General Bonta are exercising their legal authority to seek information from the NFL regarding allegations of gender pay disparities in compensation, harassment, and gender and race discrimination.” 

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The NFL called the allegations “entirely inconsistent with the NFL’s values and practices,” but said it would cooperate with the probe. “The NFL offices are places where employees of all genders, races and backgrounds thrive. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form,” league officials said in a statement via The Associated Press.

“No person should ever have to endure harassment, discrimination, or abuse in the workplace,” James said. “No matter how powerful or influential, no institution is above the law and we will ensure the NFL is held accountable.”

“California will not tolerate any form of discrimination,” Bonta added. “We have serious concerns about the NFL’s role in creating an extremely hostile and detrimental work environment. No company is too big or popular to avoid being held responsible for their actions.”

If there is a corporate entity that is too big and popular to fail, it probably would be the NFL, as February’s Super Bowl is now believed to be the most-watched television program of all time with 115.1 million viewers spread across all viewing platforms. Sad to say, but expect this story to fade away by the time the league’s voluntary offseason workout programs start at the end of the month.

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