In a lawsuit filed Friday (April 5) in Los Angeles Superior Court, a veteran African American executive accuses Fox Sports Corporate Group of racial discrimination, claiming it currently employs 34 executives above the VP level – and not one of them is black.
A lawyer for plaintiff Jerry Davis alleges in the lawsuit, “Indeed, to the best of Mr. Davis’s knowledge, no Black person has ever held any position at or above vice president in that division’s entire 19-year existence. Representation of Black individuals in leadership positions in other sports divisions at FOX is, and always has been, similarly abysmal. During the course of its existence, Fox Sports, through its various divisions and entities, has intentionally maintained a practice of directly and indirectly favoring the hiring and/or promotion of non-Black and non-minority employees at senior levels without any legitimate reason. Mr. Davis is a direct victim of this discriminatory practice.”
Davis’ lawsuit describes himself as a 52-year-old African-American man, Berkeley grad, star athlete, and experienced music professional who was employed by Fox Sports for 15 1/2-years (from August 1997 to February 2013) as a director in the Fox Sports music department.
During that time, the job over him, the Fox Sports VP Of Music position, became vacant four times. “However, despite his repeated and expressed interest in the position, his superior education, skills, and performance as well as strong support from senior-level colleagues of various Fox music departments and other FOX Sports departments, Mr. Davis was denied the promotion each and every time,” the lawsuit states. “Fox Sports denied Mr. Davis the promotion each time because, as a Black man, he did not fit neatly into the company’s corporate culture.”
Davis maintains he did not receive a single promotion during his entire career at Fox Sports because of his race. He charges that recently Fox Sports reduced his responsibilities and eliminated his position while he was on disability leave.
He is suing Fox Cable Network Services, Fox Sports Net, and Fox Networks Group in addition to Fox Sports. Before resorting to the courts, Davis filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.