NFL Network analysts and former NFL players Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, and Heath Evans were suspended Monday.
Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans will remain suspended “pending an investigation into these allegations,” NFL Network said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. Jami Cantor, who worked at the network for a decade, described a series of sexually inappropriate encounters with the three along with several former NFL players and others who have worked for NFL Network, including Donovan McNabb, Warren Sapp and Eric Davis.
“I think Jami Cantor is a very courageous woman, as all women coming forward in this #metoo movement,” Laura Horton, Cantor’s lawyer, told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview. “All these women are courageous. These women have had the courage to step up knowing that, in the past at least, it would be a ‘he said, she said’ situation until we’ve had this national conversation.”
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The allegations came in an amended complaint that is part of a civil lawsuit originally filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Cantor in October. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified general and punitive damages, alleges age and sex discrimination, sexual harassment that created a hostile work environment, wrongful termination and defamation.
Horton said while she could only comment about what was contained in Monday’s filing, “more would come out at trial.”
Bloomberg was the first outlet to report the amended complaint had been filed.
Cantor alleged that Faulk, who has been one of the NFL Network’s top analysts for about a decade, greeted her by “fondling her breasts and groping her behind,” according to the complaint. Faulk “became more aggressive,” including one instance where he allegedly invited Cantor to his hotel room where she witnessed him expose his genitals and made sexually suggestive remarks.
Cantor also claimed Taylor forwarded “sexually inappropriate” pictures of himself, according to the filing. Horton said that she has a copy of a video sent to Cantor that allegedly shows Taylor exposing himself in the shower.
McNabb, who is currently an ESPN employee, made sexually inappropriate comments via text, asking about a specific sex act multiple times.
ESPN did not immediately respond to a message left by USA TODAY Sports on the allegations made against McNabb. Representatives for Evans, Faulk and Taylor did not immediately reply to requests for comment Tuesday morning.
The amended complaint also alleged a top executive at Bill Simmons’ media group, Eric Weinberger, of inappropriate conduct. Weinberger, who worked at NFL Network as an executive producer before joining Simmons at The Ringer, allegedly “pressed his crotch against” Cantor and asked her to “touch it,” according to the filing. He also allegedly made several sexually suggestive comments.
A spokesman for The Ringer told USA TODAY Sports in a statement that Weinberger has been placed on leave pending an investigation.
“These are very serious and disturbing allegations that we were made aware of today,” the statement reads. “We are placing Eric on leave indefinitely until we have a better understanding of what transpired during his time at the NFL, and we will conduct our own internal investigation.”
Cantor was forced to work in the men’s restroom during her tenure at NFL Network and alleged Warren Sapp, who was fired after a 2015 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, urinated in front of her. She protested, but Sapp allegedly laughed off the incident.
Per the complaint: “Sapp also gave sex toys as a Christmas gifts three years in a row, showed (Cantor) nude pictures of numerous women he claimed to have slept with, and openly talked about his sex life in front of (Cantor) and other NFL employees, including supervisors.”
Cantor said she complained to Marc Watts, who worked as NFL Network’s talent coordinator, about the unwanted sexual advances and comments “numerous times” and he “did nothing.”
“It’s part of the job when you look the way you do,” Watts allegedly told Cantor.
Davis allegedly told Cantor, “You look like a woman who knows what to do in bed.”
“Mr. Davis also asked Plaintiff to have rough sex with him, and said that he wanted to choke Plaintiff from behind until Plaintiff begged him to stop,” the complaint alleges.
Cantor’s employment ended last year when she was accused of stealing clothes from an unspecified on-air talent member. She denies any theft and, in the filing, said security video would have vindicated her. Cantor was 51 at the time she was dismissed and claims she was replaced by a 30-year-old.
Cantor has “seen the NFL ‘age-out’ other older employees,” according to the filing.
Contributing: Tom Schad