Latest On Jets Owner Woody Johnson

At the end of last month, we heard that Jets owner and current U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, Woody Johnson, was said to have made racist and sexist comments during his time as an ambassador. Those allegations triggered a State Department investigation, and as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports, the State Department thinks the matter requires a more thorough review (Twitter links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

The State Department’s report says that Johnson “sometimes made inappropriate or insensitive comments on topics generally considered Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)-sensitive, such as religion, sex, or color.” Within the report is a statement from the Office of the Inspector General indicating that Johnson’s comments, gathered through interviews and questionnaires from employees at the U.S. Embassy in London, could represent a violation of EEO laws, which is why it’s pushing for a comprehensive inquiry.

Johnson’s comments are included in the report. He said, “[i]f I have unintentionally offended anyone in the execution of my duties, I deeply regret that, but I do not accept that I have treated employees with disrespect or discriminated in any way.” He added that, in order to address the “perceived or real” allegations in the report, he has reviewed courses on workplace discrimination and has asked his staff to do the same.

Even assuming an additional review is conducted, it seems unlikely that Johnson’s ownership will be seriously threatened. After all, Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder will not be made to sell his club in the wake of sexual harassment allegations made against members of his staff, and as disappointing and offensive as racist or sexist comments might be, it would be surprising to see them trigger an ouster.

Johnson’s brother, Christopher Johnson, is Gang Green’s CEO and chairman and has been serving as the club’s operating head during Woody’s ambassadorship. When news of Woody’s alleged comments surfaced last month, Christopher called almost every player on the Jets roster to listen to their concerns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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23 comments on “Latest On Jets Owner Woody Johnson

  1. natsfan3437

    If there is no audio, how could they prove it? Legit question. I’m a jets fan and would hope he had to sell the team whether he did it or didn’t do it he has been awful.

          • elscorcho the marlin
            elscorcho the marlin

            Well, they became the New York jets in 1963. And 68,and 69 were the Namath teams that vied for championships and one one.

    • andremets

      If two or 3 witnesses confirm a particular comment, that certainly could be used as evidence.

      • Wyoming Bison Expansion Team

        It can be used as evidence. But it won’t amount to anything if witnesses are your only piece of evidence. Counts as hearsay.

        • That’s why they said ‘two or 3’. Further, firsthand eyewitness testimony does not ‘[count] as hearsay’. Secondhand, yes. But if two or three firsthand witnesses have generally the same testimony about an event, it’s good evidence that could definitely amount to something.

    • TJECK109

      LOL really? You need audio of it to prove it’s true? Do you need video of every crime?

      • Wyoming Bison Expansion Team

        The State Department disagreed with the call for an additional review of his “compliance with Department Equal Employment Opportunity or leadership policies” and proposed broader training for staff — an alternate proposal that was rejected by the watchdog.

        Yes. You need evidence like an email, audio, or text messages whatever to back up and provide validity to what witnesses are saying otherwise it’s just hearsay and if they find no evidence, other than people complaining where there’s a chance they misinterpreted or misheard what he said, there’s little that can be done.

        Notice how the Redskins are in trouble because screenshots, evidence, were obtained where Richard Mann II, the assistant director of pro personnel, made inappropriate comments to corroborate their statements.

    • frustratedpittsburghpiratesfan

      It is amazing how some actions get attention and expedited penalties or loss of job/ownership and other infraction seem to just disappear. Must be the difference in Lawyers. Social Media Trollers will find you if they want to ruin you and your families lifes. Otherwise, most people unless a felony is committed ,give second chances or multiple second chances.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    Woody doesn’t strike me as the ambassador type but maybe he could fill the “Merlin” roll in the next Kingsman movie.

    • phenomenalajs

      He originally wasn’t. He supported Jeb! during the primaries, I believe. Regardless, what may be even worse legally than the EEO issue is that he allegedly advocated on behalf of the president that the UK bring the British Open golf tournament to Turnberry – Trump’s golf club in Scotland. If that isn’t trying to profit personally off the presidency, I don’t know what is.

  3. nentwigs

    Is it really unexpected for sexist comments to originate from a guy named….

    WOODY JOHNSON????

  4. emac22

    Trying to get the British open for Trumps resort is even worse but I guess criminal activity is expected as long as it doesn’t violate employment laws.

  5. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Racist, sexist comments AND trying to bribe people to make money for his boss.

    Sounds like someone wants to be Employee of the Month.

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