A former security director for the NBA alleges that when he spoke up about sexual harassment of female employees, he was given bad evaluations and fired. Now he's suing.
According to the AP, Warren Glover was fired in July, allegedly "in retaliation for his continued advocacy on behalf of female employees." He filed suit against the NBA today, saying that his relations with the league began to go sour when he reported three women's sexual harassment claims to his boss. Two had accused the same coworker, John Daniels, of harassing them and making inappropriate remarks. Glover says that he reported these matters to his superior, senior vice president for security Bernard Tolbert, but Tolbert did nothing, because he wanted to protect Daniels. According to the Times, the lawsuit alleges that Tolbert responded to these reports with a "thinly veiled threat" that if Glover kept meddling, he would be fired.
Then a third woman, named Annette Smith, said Tolbert himself had "made demeaning comments about women and forced her to photocopy a sexually inappropriate picture." Smith filed her own federal discrimination lawsuit in 2009, citing harassment by Tolbert. That suit was settled, but the terms of the settlement aren't public — Glover's team says the league paid Smith a significant amount of money. According to the Times, Glover testified in that case, which he believes also contributed to his firing. He says that at a game while the Smith case was still going on, Tolbert told Glover, "It's all your fault. You testified for your girl."
NBA rep Mike Bass says, "Mr. Glover's allegations are without merit, and we will vigorously defend against them." And Tolbert responded to questions about Glover's allegations by saying, "I have no idea what you're talking about." But Glover and his attorneys have painted a pretty convincing picture of an organization that turned a blind eye to harassment — perhaps because its VP actively engaged in it. Glover's lawyer Randolph M. McLaughlin says, "I think there's a culture of misogyny in this association. And it starts at the lower levels and it's tolerated and condoned at the higher levels. Because there's nothing being done." If Glover's allegations are true, hopefully something will be.
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