At a time when Jaguars coach Urban Meyer has an issue with current members of the team leaking unflattering things about him, Meyer now has to deal with a former member of the team who is on the record with a specific and troubling complaint regarding Meyer.
Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo claims that Meyer kicked Lambo prior to a practice in August.
“I’m in a lunge position,” Lambo told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “Left leg forward, right leg back. . . . Urban Meyer, while I’m in that stretch position, comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, Dipshit, make your f–king kicks!’ And kicks me in the leg.”
So how bad was it?
“It certainly wasn’t as hard as he could’ve done it, but it certainly wasn’t a love tap,” Lambo said. “Truthfully, I’d register it as a five [out of 10]. Which in the workplace, I don’t care if it’s football or not, the boss can’t strike an employee. And for a second, I couldn’t believe it actually happened. Pardon my vulgarity, I said, ‘Don’t you ever f–king kick me again!’ And his response was, ‘I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f–k I want.'”
Lambo, via Stroud, believes that other players saw and heard the exchange. Lambo did not disclose names in order to not involve them. Meyer, for his part, denied the claim.
“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer said. “[General Manager] Trent [Baalke] and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”
Lambo reported the incident to his agent, Richard Irvin. Irvin then contacted the team’s legal counsel the next day. It’s unclear what if anything was done about it by the team at the time.
The Jaguars eventually released Lambo after he missed three field goals to start the season.
Here’s what needs to happen. Here’s what should have happened from the get go. The Jaguars need to investigate what amounts to an incident of workplace bullying and violence, if the allegations are true. The NFL needs to get involved as well. This alleged behavior implicates the Personal Conduct Policy, which prohibits “violent or threatening behavior toward another employee or a third party in any workplace setting.”
Regardless of what happened before, something needs to happen now. The matter needs to be investigated (perhaps by an independent lawyer) and a decision needs to be made as to whether Meyer did what he’s accused of doing.
Also, the NFL Players Association should be demanding that these actions be taken.