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NFL Accused of Age Discrimination

Nine men fired by the NFL last year have filed a lawsuit alleging violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. All of the nine men were in their 60’s and 70’s and employed as security representatives. Security representatives work throughout the league to help coordinate logistics on game day, inspect locker rooms, meet with law enforcement agencies and stadium security, and even monitor the air pressure in the game balls.
Last year, the NFL brought in a new head of security, Cathy Lanier. Ms. Lanier, a former D.C. police chief, asked all of the security representatives to submit requests for proposals for the job. Each of the nine men in the lawsuit submitted a request but allege that none of them received interviews. They assert that all of their replacements were 10 to 25 years younger. One of the plaintiffs has claimed that Ms. Lanier stated he was “too old to walk the stadium.” He has asserted that he is an avid gym-goer and weightlifter, well able to perform his job.
When asked for comment, the NFL stated: “The allegations in this case have no merit. The challenged decisions were the result of a wide and objective selection process…We will vigorously defend these claims.”