NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on February 08, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Peter Casey | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
The attorneys general of New York and California said Thursday they had opened an investigation into the workplace practices and culture of the National Football League, including claims of gender discrimination.
The AGs have issued subpoenas to the NFL in connection with the probe.
“The joint investigation will examine the workplace culture of the NFL and allegations made by former employees, including potential violations of federal and state pay equity laws and anti-discrimination laws,” a press release issued by the AGs said.
New York AG Letitia James said, “No person should ever have to endure harassment, discrimination, or abuse in the workplace. No matter how powerful or influential, no institution is above the law, and we will ensure the NFL is held accountable.”
The NFL has more than 1,000 employees in offices in New York and California, the AGs noted.
Thursday’s press release cited a February 2022 New York Times article that detailed how more than 30 women who previously worked for the NFL claimed they suffered gender discrimination and retaliation after filing complaints with the league’s human resources office.
Also last year, a congressional committee found that for decades the workplace of the Washington Commanders team owned by Dan Snyder had tolerated “sexual harassment, bullying, and other toxic conduct.”
California AG Rob Bonta said Thursday that the AGs 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,” Bonta said.
In a statement, the NFL said the “allegations are entirely inconsistent with the NFL’s values and practices.”
“The NFL offices are places where employees of all genders, races and backgrounds thrive. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form,” the league said. “The NFL is committed to ensuring all employees of the league are respected, treated fairly, and have equitable pay and access to developmental opportunities. Our policies are intended not only to comply with all applicable laws but to foster a workplace free from harassment, intimidation and discrimination.”
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