B-Dawk's departure... Donovan's "ultimatum"... letting Tra go on his way... owing the cash-poor city millions... losing LJ Smith to the Ravens... the Facebook firing... Whichever way you come down on the Eagles' off-season events, you probably agree it's been a tough one in terms of PR for the front office. And it just got worse.
Dan Gross reported yesterday that Bonnie Grant, a former Eagles spokesperson, is suing the Birds, alleging discrimination regarding her gender and health. Grant is a breast cancer survivor. Via Gross:
The Eagles subsequently began to "issue petty and unsupported
discipline" against Grant, the lawsuit said, and directed her not to
discuss her cancer history.
According to the lawsuit, Grant was terminated without warning and
without cause on Oct. 12, 2007. Then, the lawsuit charges, in an effort
"to conceal her unlawful termination," the Eagles created an e-mail
that "misappropriated" Grant's identity and was sent to anyone who
wrote to her Eagles e-mail.
[Gross] reported in October 2007 that Grant was fired after taking the fall for the Eagles' front-office outrage over a Daily News front-page story by Chris Brennan about measures to cut down on tailgating during home games.
[Gross] also wrote that Grant was upset that the Eagles had set up an e-mail
auto-reply that purported to be written by her and referenced that she
had left the team to "pursue other interests."
Ouch. The Eagles won't comment extensively on the pending litigation, other than to say they reject any such claims.
"In February 2008, Bonnie Grant made claim to the EEOC, the
governmental agency responsible for these issues. There was no
investigation with regard to her claim. The Philadelphia Eagles were
not even asked to respond to the charge," [Pamela Browner Crawley, the Eagles' senior vice president of public affairs] said last night.
There's certainly an ocean of information the public doesn't know about the interactions between the Eagles and Grant, so we won't even begin to speculate as to who may be in the wrong here. Being sued for discrimination does not mean they're guilty, but that doesn't prevent it from being a PR nightmare.