Meyer de Jags, Baalke subpoenaed in Iowa discrimination lawsuit

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – The Jacksonville Jaguars said on Wednesday that coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke were subpoenaed in a lawsuit brought by lawyers for black players suing the former Iowa strength trainer Chris Doyle for discrimination.

The team said Meyer and Baalke have submitted a written response to the summons, which seeks information about the Jaguars’ decision to hire and then fire Doyle in January.

“We respect and will cooperate with the legal process if necessary,” the team said. “However, the Jaguars have no information that would be relevant to the lawsuit between the student-athletes and the University of Iowa.”

The federal lawsuit, filed in Iowa, accuses Hawkeyes staff of humiliating black players with racial slurs, forcing them to abandon black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by head coach Kirk Ferentz, and to retaliate against them for speaking out.

The university agreed to pay Doyle $ 1.1 million as part of a resignation deal in June 2020 after dozens of former players said on social media he intimidated and discriminated against them. Doyle denied the allegations.

An investigation by an outside law firm found that the program’s rules “perpetuate racial and cultural prejudices and undermine the value of cultural diversity” and allow coaches to belittle players without consequence.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose has previously released athletic director Gary Barta and current strength trainer Raimond Braithwaite as defendants. Allegations were also dismissed that Iowa created and maintained a systemic model and practice of illegal racial discrimination and that Ferentz failed to train and supervise its staff.

The former players were allowed to bring a complaint for intentional discrimination by offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, son of Kirk and Doyle.

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