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Racism Alleged at Fox Sports

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Fox Sports has never employed a black person as vice president or higher in its 19-year existence, a former employee says in a discrimination complaint.

Jerry Davis claims Fox has a whites-only "corporate culture," and refuses to promote black and other minorities to leadership positions.

He sued Fox Cable Network Services, Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports, and Fox Networks Group in Superior Court.

Davis, 52, was hired as a music director at a division of Fox Sports after a career producing records for Ice-T and Chuck D and managing music stars, he says in his complaint.

But his talents and experience did not help him at Fox, where he was a "direct victim" of discrimination, and never received a promotion in 15 years, according to the complaint.

Then Fox Sports forced him out of the company while he was on disability leave, Davis says.

Of 34 Fox Sports employees at vice president level or above, not one is black, Davis says.

"Indeed, to the best of Mr. Davis's knowledge, no black person has ever held any position at or above vice-president in that division's entire 19-year existence," the complaint states. "Representation of black individuals in leadership positions in other sports divisions at Fox, is, and always has been, similarly abysmal."

Davis claims that Fox "intentionally" favors white employees for leadership positions "without any legitimate reason," and that he was passed over four times for promotion to vice-president.

"However, despite his repeated and express interest in the position, his superior education, skills, and performance as well as strong support from senior-level colleagues of various Fox music departments and other Fox Sports departments, Mr. Davis was denied the promotion each and every time," the complaint states.

"Fox Sports denied Mr. Davis the promotion each time because, as a black man, he did not fit neatly into the company's corporate culture."

Davis claims he "never had a real opportunity to succeed at the company," was isolated from coworkers, and prevented from doing his job.

"On or around February 4, 2013, while Mr. Davis was on disability leave for the treatment of certain disabilities, including, without limitation, stress, depression, anxiety, and related physical conditions, Fox Sports terminated him purportedly based on the elimination of his position and the restructuring of the Fox Sports music department. At and around the time of such termination, Fox Sports did not sufficiently provide or engage in an interactive process or attempt to accommodate Mr. Davis's disability," according to the complaint.

He seeks compensatory and punitive damages for discrimination, retaliation, wrongful firing, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other charges.

He is represented by Eliot Rushovich with Aanand Mehtani with Rushovich Mehtani of Los Angeles.

Fox Sports did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

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