Jerry Davis worked at Fox Sports for 15 years, without being promoted once. He now believes that he knows why: He is African-American. Of the roughly 34 people in top management positions at Fox Sports, he says that none are black — and, as far as he knows, no African-Americans have ever held top leadership positions in the division’s 19-year history. When it comes to hiring non-whites in leadership positions, Fox Sports’ track record is “abysmal,” he says.Davis — who was let go in February 2013 — made the allegations in a lawsuit that he filed Friday against the sports division. It was first reported by the entertainment news website, Deadline.com
. Davis, 52, is suing Fox Sports for racial
and disability discrimination
, and wrongful termination, among other charges. Fox Sports
declined to comment.A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, who also had worked in the music industry
, Davis was hired by Fox Sports in 1997 and worked as a music director. According to his lawsuit, he reported to a vice president, and four times over 15 years, that position was vacant. Despite Davis’ “superior education, skills and performance” as well as strong recommendations from “senior-level colleagues,” he says that he was passed over every time. According to the lawsuit, the reason was because “… as a Black man, he did not fit neatly into the company’s corporate culture.”
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Eventually, Davis says his employer “slowly and calculatingly” cut his duties and then eliminated his position while he was on disability leave. The lawsuit doesn’t specify what the disability was. Davis is seeking damages in excess of $25,000, saying he has suffered “nervousness, humiliation, depression, anguish, embarrassment, fright, shock, pain” and anxiety. The lawsuit seeks “a sum appropriate” to punish and “make an example” of Fox Sports.
This is not the first time that an ex-employee has sued a division of Fox, claiming racial discrimination. In 2010, Harmeen Jones sued Fox News for $5 million, claiming that he’d been fired after complaining of race discrimination.