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Saints deny racial discrimination allegations from former employee

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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.

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37 Responses to “Saints deny racial discrimination allegations from former employee”
  1. lingsun54 says: Jan 20, 2016 8:26 PM

    Even if they really said it, it means nothing.

  2. KIR says: Jan 20, 2016 8:38 PM

    Everyone can’t be lying about the NEW chick. Where there’s some it’s a fire not far behind.

  3. corporatemediaprostitute says: Jan 20, 2016 8:39 PM

    This statement is likely to come back and bite the firm representing Benson. Also, Goldig…. Gayle Benson seems to be at the center of several situations where allegations of… personality conflicts arise. Curious.

  4. ctiggs says: Jan 20, 2016 8:46 PM

    Ironically i wonder if bensons daughter and grand daughter is trying this back door way of getting in to own the team

  5. baldbuc says: Jan 20, 2016 8:52 PM

    Maybe he is a SOB that just happens to be black. Doesn’t mean she thinks he’s a SOB because he is black. If they are racist they probably wouldn’t have hired him in the first place. She probably just hates people that act like “SOBs”.

  6. bridgeh2o says: Jan 20, 2016 8:55 PM

    You can see an obvious case of racist bias by the Benson’s in that they employed him for only 20 years (sarc).

    If there was true discrimination, why didn’t he bring this suit WHILE EMPLOYED? Such as in 2014.

    That would make it believable.

    Sour grapes dude……..

  7. FinFan68 says: Jan 20, 2016 8:55 PM

    Sounds like another butthurt former employee trying to deflect blame. Amazing how they hired him and kept him on the payroll for 20 years but suddenly they are racist by firing him. Bogus claim.

    How can people who support affirmative action (hiring someone based solely on the color of their skin) logically be against firing someone for the same reason? Both seem equally racist to me.

  8. goawayeverybody says: Jan 20, 2016 8:57 PM

    I love my Saints but all the Bensons are crazy. They just are.

  9. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:03 PM

    ““Both Tom and Gayle Benson are extremely hurt by Mr. Henry’s filing”

    I think Marge Schott was really hurt when her racism was exposed too.

    To be fair I know absolutely nothing about the situation and whether there’s any truth to it or not.

  10. folkcrusader says: Jan 20, 2016 9:11 PM

    If Gayle Benson was a conniving gold digger (just saying “if”) then the way to control a man in Mr. Benson’s position is to cut him off from the his herd of familiar faces so that he only has you to listen to.

    His family has essentially been cut off by cutting out the lions share of their inheritance. His personal assistant of 20 years is fired because Gayle thinks he’s an SOB. I wonder if Gayle has executed any others in Benson’s inner circle.

    The funniest part of all of it, (if true), is that the Saints fans have been complicit in her plan. If they end up with Marge Schott II it will be on the fans heads.

  11. coffeeblack95616 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:19 PM

    I think there is racism! After all, when was the last time the Saints started a white running back or receiver. They have had a black QB, yet no white RB or WR. Total racist organization.

  12. bsizemore68 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:26 PM

    Seems as if the ” RACE CARD ” is the fall back position at work, perhaps he is trying to get the money before the owner dies, kind of like his ex, and daughter. Bill

  13. bsizemore68 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:26 PM

    Seems as if the ” RACE CARD ” is the fall back position at work, perhaps he is trying to get the money before the owner dies, kind of like his ex, and daughter. Bill

  14. odell2015 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:35 PM

    What about the New York football giants that don’t have any minorities as coaches

  15. macker1283 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:39 PM

    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.”
    ———
    Bingo.

  16. mlenenski says: Jan 20, 2016 9:45 PM

    Maybe the Rooney rule can now be amended to address racial discrimination at termination as well….who cares if the guy does his job well. Can somebody tweet Lovie and let him know?

  17. rcali says: Jan 20, 2016 9:50 PM

    20 Years a Servant. Brad Pitt, you have a new movie.

  18. tonebones says: Jan 20, 2016 9:55 PM

    It’s no wonder teams are “forced” to interview minority candidates. Why would anyone in their right mind, hire someone who is more likely to sue them? These suits are the thing that are hurting minorities, not actual discrimination. If owners thought white people were more likely to sue them , they’d hire minorities in a second.

  19. pftfanatic says: Jan 20, 2016 10:04 PM

    Cries of racism at work remind me of my first exposure to such an allegation many years ago. A minority candidate for an opening filed a discrimination complaint (race and sex) after not being hired. She dropped the complaint when she realized the three finalists were the same race as her, including the person (a woman) who was selected. Oops.

  20. jagsfanugh says: Jan 20, 2016 10:08 PM

    Perfect timing as it seems in this country.

  21. skinsprinting says: Jan 20, 2016 10:10 PM

    It took the guy 20 YEARS to find that he was working for racists ?

  22. Eli Pacheco says: Jan 20, 2016 10:16 PM

    I’m getting a little sick of the race card. And I’m not white.

  23. dexx57 says: Jan 20, 2016 10:21 PM

    bitter former employee, huge grains of salt

  24. mitchem85 says: Jan 20, 2016 10:24 PM

    lol so, now just because you say “black,white,yellow” before you call someone a “SOB” it means you’re racist? Pretty sure if they were racist they would have called him a “N” word and probably not hired him in the first place. Also, after 20 years on the job, makes it hard to believe.

    Not only that, have you ever been to New Orleans??? I don’t think anyone that lives there could be racist and own a professional sports team there.

  25. qdog112 says: Jan 20, 2016 10:39 PM

    “Unfortunately, when those decisions are made, as is the case here, employees often take it personally ”
    **************************
    How else should a fired person, who loses his job take it, if not personal? You didn’t fire his coat or his shoes. You fired a man, who had worked for you over 20 years.

    Getting fired is always personal.

  26. genericusername93 says: Jan 20, 2016 10:39 PM

    Maybe because you can’t bring a wrongful termination claim before you’re actually terminated haha

    bridgeh2o says:
    Jan 20, 2016 8:55 PM
    You can see an obvious case of racist bias by the Benson’s in that they employed him for only 20 years (sarc).

    If there was true discrimination, why didn’t he bring this suit WHILE EMPLOYED? Such as in 2014.

    That would make it believable.

    Sour grapes dude……..

  27. Teddy BustH20's House of Noodles says: Jan 20, 2016 10:40 PM

    Would have had more credibility if he didn’t work there for 20 years AND if he would have quit and filed the suit while he was still employed because he was so distraught over this.

    My guess is that he’s just looking for an easy payday and figured they would settle with him out of court so it didn’t get into the media.

  28. bigbensbathroombuddy says: Jan 20, 2016 10:41 PM

    “Chip Kelly didn’t even work here!”

  29. Modern Day Einstein says: Jan 20, 2016 11:23 PM

    Being a product of the far north my first instinct is, “What? Racism in the deep south!? Say it aint so!”

    Than I remembered I am an American, and that Americans are generally pretty stupid, and that we have a presumption of innocence, and in order to be guilty of something, it must be proven.

    Ugh. 2016 is already exhausting.

  30. saintsredwings says: Jan 20, 2016 11:29 PM

    ^ Agreed. They’re all messed up. Hopefully Saints new owner will be a good. Don’t need Snyder, JJ and so forth type owner.

  31. carl lafong says: Jan 20, 2016 11:32 PM

    Chocolate City

  32. gdublud says: Jan 20, 2016 11:44 PM

    The whole “because I’m black” thing is getting real old.

  33. henryjones20 says: Jan 20, 2016 11:51 PM

    It might have more to do with paying him health insurance.It happened here in buffalo a few years ago when they terminated the bills equipment manager after he had worked for them for over 25 years.Dave Hojonowski claimed it was because they didn’t wanna cover his health insurance cost.Not sure whatever became of his age discrimination lawsuit.

  34. mcmccii says: Jan 20, 2016 11:53 PM

    Sounds like Rita Benson LeBlanc’s lawyers working from the shadows.

  35. eljefedelmundo says: Jan 21, 2016 2:44 AM

    Just for clarification…

    Gayle Benson = nice

    Rita = the opposite.

    Hth

  36. tothehouse101 says: Jan 21, 2016 6:31 AM

    Will players wear their uniforms inside out in a show of solidarity?

  37. raidernation210 says: Jan 21, 2016 7:53 AM

    They love playing the race card don’t they

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