IN THE PUBLIC ARENA
Liberty Institute Attorneys File Employment Religious Discrimination Complaint Against Fox Sports On Behalf of Former Sports Analyst Craig James
DALLAS, TX, February 25, 2014 –Today, Liberty Institute on behalf of well-known college football analyst Craig James filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission alleging religious discrimination against his former employer Fox Sports, whose national spokesperson told the Dallas Morning News that James was terminated because of his religious beliefs about same-sex marriage. During a sworn deposition in January, Eric Shanks, President of Fox Sports, stated that the Senior Vice-President for Communications and Spokesperson for Fox Sports Lou D’Ermilio made false statements to the press. Eric Shanks also stated he did not know why Mr. D’Ermilio made the false statement and that there has been no investigation to determine why Mr. D’Ermilio made the statements.
View an online copy of the complaint filed against Fox Sports with the Texas Workforce Commission here.
“Fox Sports’ firing of Craig James because of his sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage, beliefs held by millions of Americans, constitutes religious discrimination that violates the law. In order to avoid that claim, Fox executives now contend what their national spokesperson said to the media at the time of the firing was false. Someone’s not telling the truth. This action will get to the bottom of those contentions. Regardless, Fox Sports is responsible,” said Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute General Counsel.
In the complaint, James accuses Fox Sports of religious employment discrimination based in part on Fox’s report to the media that he was terminated for comments made about his support for the biblical view of marriage while running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. Fox told The Dallas Morning News: “We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements [from the earlier Senate race about same-sex marriage] would play in our human resources department. He couldn’t say those things here.”
Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute’s Managing Director of Strategic Litigation added: “It looks like Fox Sports is trying to run so fast from an employment claim capped at $300,000 that they are driving off the cliff into defamation and other common law claims that are limitless and may cost Fox Sports millions.”
About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.