Last week it was reported that wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor was suing the NFL network after several on-air talent including Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk, Donovan McNabb, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans had sexually harassed her during her time with the company.
Today, a second woman, makeup artist Erin Mcparland, has come forward to reveal her own horror stories while at the NFL network and working with Eric Davis and Michael Irvin.
I freelanced with the NFL Network, which is owned by the league, for three football seasons. It turned out that Jami’s warning was spot on. I was eventually targeted.
I was sexually harassed and assaulted too, and I made an HR complaint against two members of the on-air talent. After I reported them, I was disappointed in the network’s response.
Jami and I shared one of the same abusers: Eric Davis, a former NFL cornerback turned analyst. It started during my second season with the NFL Network with a comment here and there. When Davis came to the makeup room, he would comment on how flexible I was when I leaned down to pick up a product. I brushed such comments off.
Once the 2015-16 NFL season ended and, consequently, my shifts at the NFL Network studio in California dropped off, I began getting direct messages from Davis over Instagram. He continued to remark on my flexibility and became suggestive about how good things could be between us sexually. I continued to brush off these unwanted sexual comments.
The next time I was in makeup and Davis was leaving, he leaned in for another hug. This time, not only was the hug too long, but it was too close. I could feel him pressing and rubbing his genitals into my leg. I felt frozen, numb.
The third and final incident was full-on predatory, and it came during the filming of Total Access, one of the network’s premier shows. Davis went in for a hug and then, with both hands, grabbed and fondled my buttocks. I instantly pulled away, recoiling. I looked him in the eyes and firmly told him, “Hands off.”
And here are her allegations against Michael Irvin.
I went on to tell her how Michael Irvin had also made inappropriate gestures and comments. How once, on the set of GameDay, he grabbed my waist while I was powdering him on set during a commercial break. I was mortified. Not only was this unwanted attention not acceptable, I was worried that everyone witnessing this might believe I thought this was okay. Or worse—welcomed.
From then on, my guard with Irvin was up. I went out of my way to avoid him, and if I did have to work with him, I’d have to remind him to “not touch.” In what world is it normal for someone to have to remind their coworker to not touch them?
Sports Illustrated reached out to NFL Network over Mcparland’s allegations and this is what she said.
“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.
It’s not looking good for the NFL Network.