Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

NFL Answers Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With Victim Blaming

Photo via AP
Photo via AP

The NFL has filed their formal response to Jami Cantor’s harassment lawsuit, which alleged that Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, Heath Evans, and other prominent NFL Network employees sexually harassed her when she was working for the network. They did not confirm a single count in Cantor’s original lawsuit, writing that they “deny, generally and specifically, each and every allegation of the Complaint.”

In their categorical denial of Cantor’s specific claims against NFLN on-air talent, the NFL’s lawyers cited 47 defenses, including failure to respect statute of limitations, failure to file her complaint in a timely manner, failure to adequately report the supposed harassment to her supervisors, and “failure to use ordinary care and diligence in performance of job duties.” If that last one sounds like legalese victim blaming, well, that’s the general tone of the document.

In addition to dismissing the harassment that Cantor accused Faulk and others of as “frivolous,” the NFL made the case that she was asking for it. According to their brief, Cantor “consented to, authorized, and/or ratified” harassing behavior such as being sent jerk-off videos “through her actions, omissions, and course of conduct.” They also claimed that it was her fault and that she actually caused the harassment.

Illustration for article titled NFL Answers Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With Victim Blamingem/em

Additionally, the NFL attempted to absolve itself of any fault by claiming that the alleged behavior—such as being sent unsolicited nude pictures, receiving sex toys as gifts, being pushed against a wall and asked to perform oral sex on a coworker, having a coworker urinate in front of her, being told that she “looked like the kind of girl that squirted when getting fucked,” and receiving lewd text messages from superiors—was not “severe,” “pervasive,” “extreme,” or “outrageous.”

The full answer can be read below.

Staff writer, Deadspin

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