Former ESPN employee Adrienne Lawrence recently filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against the company, citing incidents dating back to 2015.
And in that lawsuit there is an explosive allegation against host Chris Berman, alleging that the longtime face of the network left a “racially disparaging” voicemail for reporter Jemele Hill.
From the 85-page lawsuit, via Deadspin:
“In early 2016, ESPN’s The Undefeated personality Jemele Hill received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from (Chris) Berman on her ESPN phone line. After Hill notified executive Marcia Keegan (who oversaw Hill’s show His & Hers at the time and had been a senior director in HR) about the matter and forwarded the voicemail to her, nothing was done. Despite his continued and repeated misconduct toward women, Berman remains a celebrated and welcome ESPN employee.”
The lawsuit also accuses male talent and executives of keeping ” ‘scoreboards’ naming female colleagues they are targeting for sex,” via the New York Post. It also names former anchor Jonathan Coachman and analyst Bomani Jones as perpetrators of a hostile work environment for women.
Lawrence’s accusations first become public when The Boston Globe published text messages between Lawrence and anchor John Buccigross in which he sent her shirtless photos and called her “dollface.” ESPN released a statement shortly after attempting to clear Buccigross’ name, saying the two “had a consensual, personal friendship that spanned months.”
Lawrence alleges that human resources worked with Buccigross to cover up his sexual harassment and that her complaints led to her firing in 2017.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images