This has not been a great year for the NFL if we’re talking about possible sexual harassment charges. First, you had the Inez Sainz mess with the Jets, and now, the league – which has completed a report but hasn’t yet revealed the results – is still dealing with the fallout of the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger sexting case.
So, you can understand why the former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation would say that athletics are a bit behind the times when it comes to cleaning up the potential for sexual harassment.
"The corporate world is 25 years ahead of sports. Sports organizations still tolerate major athletes acting like little boys," Donna Lopiano, also the former University of Texas athletic director, told the NY Daily News. "They are still in the dark on gender issues. There is a desperate need for education."
You might recall that Jets owner Woody Johnson was tapped to pay for a training program for all teams on proper conduct in the workplace after the Sainz incident came to light. Still, according to Daily News article, the league does not have a formal sexual harassment policy.
Hopefully that will change after the Favre/Sterger case is resolved – which could happen as early as next Monday. In fact, Sterger’s attorney, Phil Reese, told Sports Illustrated that Sterger wouldn’t sue Favre, the Jets or the NFL if commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Favre and institutes a sexual harassment program.
From the article:
Lopiano applauded Sterger for insisting that the league develop an anti-sexual harassment program - and said it is something that should have done long ago. She said women face harassment in sports because most organizations' front-office employees are overwhelmingly male.
"It all stems back to the strong sexist nature of sports," Lopiano said. "That is understandable when your workforce is only 10% female."
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