A former NFL human resources employee alleges that NFL Films, the league’s production company, has a catalog in its file of «lewd shots of women,» according to The Wall Street Journal.
Victoria Russell filed an employee discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey earlier this year, alleging that she found «a chat room log that tracked timestamps on NFL footage and linked the timestamps to descriptions.» sexualized and offensive of the women captured in those images».
This came after he did a 2018 audit of the company’s human resources system.
Russell, who was a temp worker at the time, saw descriptions including «cheerleader butt,» «cheerleader rear end,» «cheerleader boobs close-up; cleavage shot,» «random woman, cleavage shot «, «female fan in bikini top», «shot of a gifted woman» and «naughty camerawork».
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Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, said The Wall Street Journal these «sensitive» images are flagged to make sure no one uses them in future content. However, he pointed out that Russell’s accusations are inaccurate.
«Those frames are flagged as ‘sensitive’ so they can be withdrawn from circulation, which means they won’t be accessible to employees whose job it is to locate footage for productions,» McCarthy said. «Ms. Russell did not have credentials for the registration system, nor did any aspect of her responsibilities involve accessing images.»
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Russell is suing the league for treating her like a black woman. She worked with the NFL from 2018 to 2022 and alleges that she was denied raises, opportunities for advancement and a dedicated workspace unlike male employees.
Russell claims she was abruptly fired after complaining to «the league’s director of diversity,» which came six months after she earned a promotion that she felt was delayed. That delay occurred while she was pregnant. Russell says that she did not receive any warning about her performance.
«The league denies discriminating or retaliating here,» McCarthy said, via WSJ. «We are committed to providing all employees with a workplace that is respectful, diverse, inclusive, and free from discrimination and harassment.»
The Wall Street Journal added that «people familiar with league thinking» said Russell’s contract with his agency was not renewed due to performance-related issues.
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The publication added that of the NFL signings last year, two-thirds were women or people of color. The league’s top three human resources executives are also black, two of them women.
NFL Films has become a vital part of the fan experience, as well as preserving NFL history, using the latest in production technology to capture the game like we’ve never seen it before. He is responsible for working with HBO to produce «Hard Knocks,» which follows a team through training camp and the season.
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The microphone moments from the bench and in the game are also the responsibility of the company.