Fritz Pollard Alliance is “deeply troubled” by “serious” allegations against Woody Johnson

Getty Images

The allegations of inappropriate workplace comments made by Jets owner Woody Johnson in his capacity as the U.S. ambassador to Britain are not going to quickly dissipate, notwithstanding comments made by the league and the team calculated to achieve that result.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which “exists to champion diversity in the National Football League . . . through education and providing its membership with resources that will help them succeed at every level of the game,” has issued a joint statement on the situation from chairman Harry Carson and executive director Rod Graves.

“The Fritz Pollard Alliance is deeply troubled by allegations of insensitive remarks about race and gender made by New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson while serving abroad as a U.S. Ambassador,” Carson and Graves said in a statement issued early Thursday. “Allegations of this nature, if true, are damaging to the social fabric of our country and cannot not be tolerated. While only allegations at this point, they are serious. We call on the NFL to carefully monitor this situation and, if the allegations have merit, to take appropriate action and work toward rooting out such sentiments from the NFL community.”

The statement stops short of contending that Johnson should be forced to sell or prevented from being actively involved in the management of the team after his stint as an ambassador ends. But former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his team for racially charged comments made in a private setting. Johnson’s alleged remarks happened in a workplace setting. Sterling’s comments were recorded and indisputable; Johnson’s comments are based on accounts from those who allegedly heard them, and Johnson disputes making them.

CNN reported that Johnson, according to multiple sources, “made racist generalizations about Black men and questioned why the Black community celebrates Black History Month.” Regarding a 2018 event for Black History Month, Johnson reportedly “appeared agitated and asked if the audience would be ‘a whole bunch of Black people.’” Three unnamed sources told CNN that Johnson “argued that Black fathers didn’t remain with their families and that was the ‘real challenge.’” One source told CNN that an official who heard the comments was “stunned,” and that the incident was documented and reported.

9 responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance is “deeply troubled” by “serious” allegations against Woody Johnson

  1. The NBA forces owners out, when they bring a bad light onto the league. Seems like the NFL could learn a thing or two from the NBA.

  2. America is great because of freedom of speech. Ideas can be discussed, debated and matured. But freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences as a result of that speech. say all the racist and sexist stuff you want! Go for it! This is America! just don’t be shocked when you open your mouth and people don’t like you anymore.

  3. Is anyone surprised Johnson talks like that? If so, they haven’t been paying attention.

  4. “The NBA forces owners out, when they bring a bad light onto the league.”
    ____________

    It took decades and a change in commissioners to get Donald Sterling out. If the NFL were to move at that speed Woody Johnson will need to live to be about 120 before anything happens.

  5. We call on the NFL to carefully monitor this situation and, if the allegations have merit, to take appropriate action and work toward rooting out such sentiments from the NFL community.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Johnson is the owner in absentia. He turned over operation of the team to his brother while he serves as ambassador. This means he has no connection to the NFL. His alleged comments have the same weight as an ordinary private citizen.

    ‘Apprropriate action’ can be as little as the commissioner saying “you should not do that in this day and age.”

    We all make mistakes. The question is do we learn from them and adjust? If so, no problem. If not, then you do something major. Lets slow the rush to judgement.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.