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Six states threaten NFL with investigation into workplace harassment of women

Six states threaten NFL with investigation into workplace harassment of women
Attorney generals seek changes or probe with ‘full weight of our authority’

Six state attorney generals have threatened the National Football League (NFL) with an investigation into allegedly “hostile” treatment of women employees.

In a letter addressed to NFL bosses on Wednesday, the six state attorneys said they had “grave concerns about recent reports” from women employees and called for the NFL to address a “hostile workplace culture”.

The letter detailed 30 accounts from women who say they were either harassed or mistreated at work, with the employees describing working for the NFL as “demoralising”.

The accusations stem from a February article published in The New York Times into workplace culture at the NFL, which is headquartered in New York. 

“Recent reports indicate that more than 30 former employees have now come forward and described a pervasive culture of sexism and widespread workplace discrimination within the NFL,” the attorneys said in a statement released through the office of New York attorney general Leticia James.

Ms James said the allegations were “including but not limited to, sexual harassment, targeted retaliation, and harmful stereotyping” of employees – about 37 per cent of whom are women, and 30 per cent non-white.

The letter demanded the NFL take action to remedy the accusations or face legal action. It comes alongside a federal investigation into the league’s Washington Commander’s side for similar claims.

“Our offices will use the full weight of our authority to investigate and prosecute allegations of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation by employers throughout our states, including at the National Football League,” the letter said.

It was sent by state attorneys for New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington State and was addressed to Roger Goodell, the NFL’s commissioner.

The NFL has not publicly commented on the letter and has been approached for comment by The Independent.