Another former NFL Network employee has come forward to accuse a broadcaster of sexual harassment, this time 13-year NFL veteran and three-time All-Pro cornerback Eric Davis.
Erin McParland, a former makeup artist at NFL Network gave a detailed account of harassment allegations to Sports Illustrated, accusing Davis of repeatedly making unwanted sexually suggestive comments and groping her.
McParland who freelanced with NFL Network for three seasons, told SI that she was warned upon starting there by Jami Cantor that she would be targeted for harassment.
“At this time, Jami had been head of the network’s wardrobe for nearly a decade,” McParland said. “Although she didn’t get too specific, she left me with a warning: You’re new. You’re pretty. You’ll be targeted. Be careful.”
Cantor shone the initial light on sexual misconduct allegations NFL Network with a lawsuit accusing multiple broadcasters and executives of harassment, including Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp, Ike Taylor, Donovan McNabb and Heath Evans.
Now McParland says Davis made repeated comments to her about her flexibility and how they would be sexually compatible. After McParland says that she rebuffed Davis’ advances multiple times, he escalated to groping her in the makeup room.
“Davis went in for a hug and then, with both hands, grabbed and fondled my buttocks,” McParland described. “I instantly pulled away, recoiling. I looked him in the eyes and firmly told him, ‘Hands off.'”
McParland told SI that she reported the incidents to human resources at NFL Network, but wasn’t satisfied with their reaction. She said that HR eventually met with Davis after another employee filed similar complaints, but that Davis confronted her in the makeup room after the meeting when she thought that he had been banned from the building pending the company’s investigation of her allegations.
She says the company eventually encouraged a quiet exit for Davis to avoid negative exposure for both parties. Davis was later hired by ESPN, where McParland says she now freelances and has feared further confrontation with her alleged harasser.
ESPN has suspended Davis in light of Cantor’s lawsuit, which also mentioned Davis.
NFL Network responded to an SI request for comment of McParland’s accusations.
“Ms. McParland brought forth allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct. NFL Media thoroughly investigated the allegations and took swift, appropriate remedial action, including severing our relationship with Mr. Davis. The NFL is committed to providing a safe work environment for all of our employees.”