A former executive at Fox Sports filed a lawsuit against the network on grounds of racial discrimination, Deadline.com reports. Jerry Davis filed suit in a Los Angeles Superior Court Friday (April 5) claiming to have been overlooked for several promotions, and later fired–all for being Black.
In February, Davis took a leave of absence, which the company turned into a permanent deal. Prior to getting pink-slipped, Davis filed a racial prejudice complaint against Fox Sports with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). He worked as director of Fox Sports’ music department for over 15 years. During that time, the position as VP of music came up four times, and Davis was overlooked each time.
“Despite his repeated and express 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,” reads the suit. “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.”
The 52-year-old has a degree from U.C. Berkeley, and over 23 years of experience in the music industry, but asserts to have never been promoted within Fox. He goes on to accuse the company of not letting Black employees climb too high on the corporate letter. “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 is seeking damages on several counts, including unlawful discrimination, failure to prevent unlawful discrimination, wrongful termination, and emotional distress.
In addition to Fox Sports, Davis is suing Fox Cable Network Services, Fox Sports Net, and Fox Networks Group. The payout that he is seeking will be revealed during trial.
Photo: Fox Sports