NFL contends Jami Cantor consented to alleged sexual harassment

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The NFL, through it’s in-house TV network, faces a sexual harassment lawsuit that has resulted in the suspension of three on-air employees, including Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. The NFL has now filed a formal response to the claims made by Jami Cantor last month.

Via TMZ, which does not share a link to the full document, the NFL contends that Cantor “approved, consented to, authorized, and/or ratified” the raunchy words and behaviors that allegedly took place. Although a full analysis of the NFL’s filing is required (we’ve asked the league for a copy of the document), the snippet provided by TMZ isn’t a surprise. Companies accused in court of sexual harassment always deny it, especially at first. (And if they’re not willing to deny it, they quickly settle the case before they have to admit it.)

Like all other successful businesses, getting sued is a cost of doing business, and the league has lawyers and law firms trained in the business of cobbling together the various snippets of cookie-cutter lawyer-talk on a $500-per-hour assembly line that spits out a smattering of phrases like a doll with a string that gets pulled to make it talk.

At the heart of it all: Admit nothing. Agree to nothing. Deny everything. And at the very worst, claim ignorance.

Basically, the initial filing from a defendant in a case like this means nothing. What matters is whether the defendant has a legal argument that would provide a potential silver bullet to the entire lawsuit (or to some of the specific claims). Once that all gets sorted out, the focus becomes the so-called discovery process, where documents are exchanged and questions are answered in writing and witnesses are grilled under oath.

For now, the most important development (or lack thereof) continues to be that Faulk, Heath Evans, and Ike Taylor continue to be suspended. Which means that the league has yet to conclude that they are blameless or otherwise suited to return to work. The longer they remain off the job, the more probable than not that some or all of Cantor’s allegations have merit — and that the NFL has legal and financial exposure.

40 responses to “NFL contends Jami Cantor consented to alleged sexual harassment

  1. Marshall and Heath came across as egotistical know it alls, so, karma. I actually liked Ike Taylor, but his alleged offense is toxic, so I can’t see how he ever gets past it.

  2. No doubt she put up with it for a long time.

    It is what it is. Those stories about the NFL Network have been out there for years, and stories about Marshall Faulk and the disrespectful way he treats people, not just women, have been out there for longer than that.

  3. I for one believe her. Why else would NFL Net suspend them without pay. It’s almost like admitting it. Fire them and pay her off.

  4. They may have filed what seems like a ridiculous counter claim, but you can be quite certain the league will never let this see the light of a courthouse day.

    The NFL already knows quite well whether or not there’s any truth to the allegations, and even if she did encourage it, which seems unlikely, they don’t want statements in court as to the disgusting behavior their employees engaged in within the walls of an NFL owned and operated business.

  5. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.

    It seems obvious to me that the accuser was a willing participant in the behaviour she is sueing over but has now braught a lawsuit because she was fired from her job and has a score to settle.

  6. harrisonhits2 says:
    January 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm
    They may have filed what seems like a ridiculous counter claim, but you can be quite certain the league will never let this see the light of a courthouse day.

    The NFL already knows quite well whether or not there’s any truth to the allegations, and even if she did encourage it, which seems unlikely, they don’t want statements in court as to the disgusting behavior their employees engaged in within the walls of an NFL owned and operated business.

    ————————-

    These things tend to get tried in the public eye more than in the courtroom.

  7. Can we get Marshall Faulk back so that he can pick the Eagles which guarantees my Pats winning it all.

  8. So the leagues position is that incredibly inappropriate things were happening in the workplace but it’s okay because she consented?

    That’s not really a denial. Now the question is how long did they know and why didn’t they fire all parties involved when they found out.

  9. Can you imagine taking this to court, trying to prove she consented to it, and having every salacious text, email and comment these guys made dragged shown in court and then analyzed in the court of public opinion?

    In this post-Harry Weinstein world, I’m pretty sure the NFL isn’t going to try that unless they are even dumber than I thought.

  10. First Ike Taylor chokes in the playoffs and lets Tim Tebow beat him, now he’s sending home-made handy videos to his co-workers? This guy represents all that is Steeler nation.

  11. Seemed obvious to me from the get-go. Never made sense that a bunch of different individuals would harass one specific person in almost exactly the same very specific way on multiple occasions if it was just a coincidence.

  12. I guess about the only way to prevent lawsuits is to make the entire broadcast booth unisex, but then a different kind of lawsuit (gender discrimination in employment) will almost certainly result. Conversations can be raunchy inside a boy’s school, but no one will complain about a hostile environment.

  13. Only patriots fans would read this and turn it towards themselves. It’s an excercise of guilt. They know their legacy is tainted thru cheating. A legacy any of us would gladly take for our teams. As a fan with three super bowl appearances and one trophy I’m extremely jealous.

  14. number1hawkfan says:
    January 26, 2018 at 4:23 am
    Only patriots fans would read this and turn it towards themselves. It’s an excercise of guilt.

    It’s a reaction to years of lies, setups and trollish behavior. Your comment proves it.

  15. mindelm42 says:
    January 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm
    I for one believe her. Why else would NFL Net suspend them without pay. It’s almost like admitting it. Fire them and pay her off.

    ________________

    Ever heard of a PR department? For huge companies like the NFL, anything BUT suspending employees in the public eye who have been accused of this kind of behaviour is impossible, regardless of guilt.

  16. Maybe the the NFL’s claim is true. I know of a woman personally that did the same thing. I’d also like to know why she did some of her work in the men’s bathroom??? That’s not right.

  17. “These things tend to get tried in the public eye more than in the courtroom.”

    That’s the point of what I said. If this gets into court and the ugly behavior of NFL employees is revealed in great detail, the league takes a much bigger PR hit than if it stays in sealed records.

  18. Even assuming the NFL’s claim is true it just raises questions about how such things were allowed to go on and sets them up for more lawsuits from other employees who’ll say they were made to feel uncomfortable by it all.

  19. One for the other thumb says:
    January 25, 2018 at 10:57 pm
    So the leagues position is that incredibly inappropriate things were happening in the workplace but it’s okay because she consented?

    —————————
    I agree. I am wondering if the league recognizes how the climate has changed on this even in the past year.

  20. number1hawkfan says:
    January 26, 2018 at 4:23 am
    Only patriots fans would read this and turn it towards themselves. It’s an excercise of guilt. They know their legacy is tainted thru cheating.

    —————————
    If Patriots dans have to absorb posts and comments like this then I can see how they might be a bit touchy on the topic. Perhaps its just a vicious circle of constant accusations and defenses with resentment forming in the middle. Maybe if people stopped throwing stones and Pats fans stopped responding to thrown stones the noise would die out.

  21. I’ll just repost this since it doesn’t violate the TOS and was wrongly deleted…

    I won’t miss Faulk one bit. Nobody taped your Super Bowl walkthrough, you moron. Matt Walsh was salty and said he had tapes, ONE reporter ran with with the story without verifying the claim with a second source, when pressed, Walsh couldn’t produce anything, and the Boston Herald PUBLICLY RETRACTED THE STORY AND APOLOGIZED ON THE FRONT AND BACK PAGES.

    “Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.”

    That is a direct quote from the Boston Herald. But everybody, including PROFESSIONAL ANALYSTS AND ANCHORS, seems to still have this as part of the story, and no one perpetuates the fallacy more than one Marshall Faulk. I hope for the sake of all involved that these harassment claims are false, because I’d much rather people not be harassed and/or be wrongly accused of doing so than just cementing misinformation about something as trivial as sports. But if it DOES turn out that way, the “loss” of Marshall Faulk will be a happy result.

  22. The NFL’s claim may seem inappropriate in the current social dynamic of #metoo, but It may be accurate. If a woman willingly participates in sexual banter/innuendo and then later says it was harassment, that is a character flaw with the woman. I am strictly speaking about verbal communication and gestures here. If a guy touches the woman without her consent then that is sexual assault, not harassment.

  23. number1hawkfan says:
    January 26, 2018 at 4:23 am
    Only patriots fans would read this and turn it towards themselves. It’s an excercise of guilt. They know their legacy is tainted thru cheating. A legacy any of us would gladly take for our teams. As a fan with three super bowl appearances and one trophy I’m extremely jealous.

    ————-

    I believe your Patriots’ Derangement Syndrome just might be terminal

  24. What started as innocent flirting, which she probably enjoyed, went off the rails with some disgusting acts…… and then someone pissed her off…..and now she has some of that evidence and she wants “heads on a spike”.

  25. The fact that she let the harassment happen out of fear of losing her job does not constitute consent.

  26. number1hawkfan says:
    January 26, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Only patriots fans would read this and turn it towards themselves. It’s an excercise of guilt. They know their legacy is tainted thru cheating.

    —————————————————————————–

    Intelligent football fans all understand that the “legacy is tainted thru cheating” belief only exists in the limited minds those residing on the extreme left of the Bell Curve.

    Science which can be understood by most 7th graders already demonstrated the NFL was wrong when they assumed that someone deflated footballs.

    The NFL had to hide the PSI information which was collected during the 2015 NFL season because footballs used in NFL stadiums are not exempt from the laws of physics.

  27. walker1191 says:
    January 26, 2018 at 12:11 am

    Can you imagine taking this to court, trying to prove she consented to it, and having every salacious text, email and comment these guys made dragged shown in court and then analyzed in the court of public opinion?

    In this post-Harry Weinstein world, I’m pretty sure the NFL isn’t going to try that unless they are even dumber than I thought.

    ================

    I also don’t think they’d want that, but if Cantor’s team has any plans to do so, this statement from the network says, “if you go there, we can go there too, and with things you won’t like to come out either.”

    Anyone who’s worked anywhere with a conduct policy knows that it doesn’t matter whether she consented to it – behavior that’s inappropriate for a workplace is something you can objectively identify. But muddying the waters like this can greatly reduce the magnitude of the “offense” and deflate any momentum it may have to be taken up as a national conversation, and also make a settlement easier & cheaper.

  28. “Science which can be understood by most 7th graders already demonstrated the NFL was wrong when they assumed that someone deflated footballs.”

    Wasn’t it 50 degrees that day?

  29. cosmoman11 says:
    January 26, 2018 at 9:59 am
    The fact that she let the harassment happen out of fear of losing her job does not constitute consent.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I would contend that is rarely the actual reason but it is a reason that is hard to argue against without getting labeled as a misogynist. It is often used as a convenient excuse to try and mitigate the perception/reality that the conduct was welcomed until it could be used as ammunition.

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