Rodney Henry, a former Saints employee, has sued the team for racial discrimination. The Saints have denied the allegations.
“We deny any wrongdoing by anyone within the organization with respect to Mr. Henry’s employment,” Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Wednesday on Twitter. “Just like any other employer, our organization sometimes has to make difficult decisions that are in the best interest of the company. We did so here in the matter of Mr. Henry’s termination. Unfortunately, when those decisions are made, as is the case here, employees often take it personally and accuse their employers of wrongdoing in an effort to justify — in their own minds — why their employment was terminated.”
Henry, who worked as a personal assistant to owner Tom Benson, amended an existing lawsuit on Tuesday to including specific allegations of statement made by Gayle Benson suggesting a racial bias. Henry claims, for example, that Gayle Benson said in 2014, “I hate that black son of a bitch and am going to get rid of him.” She also allegedly referred to Henry at one point as a “black son of a bitch.”
“Both Tom and Gayle Benson are extremely hurt by Mr. Henry’s filing yesterday in federal court in New Orleans and the ridiculous accusations made in the filing,” Bensel said. “They had hoped that the dismissal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of his claims would end this matter. The Bensons considered Mr. Henry to be a part of their family, providing for him and his children for some 20 years and they are both very disappointed that he has decided to assert these accusations of harassment and discrimination. Make no mistake, the Bensons and the New Orleans Saints will vigorously defend these baseless claims.”
The lawsuit, filed against the Saints, Tom Benson, and Gayle Benson, is pending in federal court in Louisiana.