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California and New York are investigating the NFL over allegations of hostile work

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California and New York Attorneys General announced Thursday they are launching an investigation into the National Football League, focusing on allegations of workplace discrimination and a hostile environment more than a year after dozens of former employees uncovered negative experience within the organization.

According to a joint statement released by the California Attorney, the investigation will address allegations of gender pay inequality, harassment and discrimination based on sex and race in a potential violation of state and federal laws. General Rob Bonta and New York Attie. General Letitia James.

The states subpoenaed the NFL, which has offices in New York and California, for information.

“We have serious concerns about the role of the NFL in creating an extremely hostile and harmful work environment,” Bonta said. “No company is too big or popular to escape responsibility for its actions.”

According to James, no employee should suffer in a hostile work environment.

“No matter how powerful or influential, no organization is above the law and we will make sure the NFL is held accountable,” she said.

Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s chief spokesman, said the league would cooperate with the investigation. In a statement, McCarthy called the allegations “completely inconsistent with NFL values ​​and practices” and said the league’s offices offer a culture where employees of all genders, races and backgrounds “thrive.”

“The NFL is committed to ensuring that all league employees are respected, treated fairly, paid fairly and have access to development opportunities,” McCarthy said. “Our policy is not only to comply with all applicable laws, but also to create a work environment free of harassment, intimidation and discrimination.”

In response to a request from James and other state attorneys general in April 2022, the NFL provided a written response the following month detailing policies and initiatives to improve its culture. A copy of this response was given to the Los Angeles Times.

The league had not received any other additional communications from attorneys general prior to Thursday’s announcement, McCarthy said.

“We are confident that our pay practices exceed any legal requirement and, like many organizations, we regularly take deliberate steps to ensure that women and people of color are fairly compensated,” he said. “This includes working with outside experts to ensure that compensation decisions are not based on race, ethnicity or gender, and we are proud of the results of this work.”

The states announcement comes more than a year after more than 30 employees shared their experience in the NFL. with the New York Times in a wide-ranging investigation arguing that the organization overlooked them and left them demoralized despite promises to improve working conditions for women in the league and the culture in general.

The NFL has been in trouble with the law for years. One lawsuit filed against the NFL mentioned in the announcement involved supposed racial discrimination against a black employee; and sexual harassment by a female stylist. Last month, a former female manager filed employment discrimination lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging age, gender, and gender discrimination, and a hostile work environment.

In 2022, the Congressional Oversight and Reform Committee launched a year-long investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct by Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyderconcluding that the owner created a “culture of fear” within the team and attempted to obstruct the investigation.

“Despite reports and allegations of abuse perpetrated by both players and male staff, allegations that the NFL has not taken sufficient effective steps to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace persist,” Bonta said in a statement. and James.

SPORTS

Death of four horses at Churchill Downs renews safety concerns ahead of Kentucky derby

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. – Just days before the iconic Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs investigates the recent death of four horses, including a foal who was scheduled to compete in Saturday’s Derby.

Wild on the ice, a 3-year-old who had three wins in five career starts and played at the Derby, was euthanized after suffering a leg injury while training on a dirt track last Thursday, Churchill Downs said in a statement. Take Charge Briana was euthanized after suffering an injury during a turf race on Tuesday.

Two horses trained by Saffy Joseph Jr died suddenly of unknown causes. Parents Pride collapsed on Saturday and Chasing Artie collapsed on Tuesday.

The deaths come in one of the few times of the year when the sporting world is focused on horse racing as the Derby kicks off the Triple Crown season. They are likely to rekindle long-standing concerns about horse safety, even as the industry grapples with doping scandals, competition from other forms of betting and declining fan interest.

“Although a series of events like this is highly unusual, it is completely unacceptable,” Churchill Downs said in a statement. “We take this very seriously and recognize that these disturbing incidents are troubling and must be addressed.”

The statement continued: “We have full confidence in our racing surfaces and our riders and riders have assured us that they are as well.”

At the stable where his Kentucky Derby competitor, Lord Miles, is being held Wednesday, Joseph said he was “shaken” by the death of his two horses. “The chance of this happening twice is in the trillions,” he said. “I have almost 4,000 horses and this has never happened before. It does not make sense”.

Lisa Lazarus, CEO of the newly minted Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority, said both the ground and the turf had been tested by his experts and found to be safe. An autopsy will be performed on the horses, hair and blood samples will be taken, which will be sent for laboratory research in the near future. On Wednesday, Joseph scratched the filly as a precaution, and on Thursday said he would also voluntarily scratch the horses he planned to run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the exception of Lord Miles, who said he had no contact with the horses that died.

Lazarus added: “We take our role in horse protection very seriously and we are very concerned. We trust that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will properly conduct its investigation and that its stewards will draw appropriate conclusions.”

On Thursday, Joseph watched as Lord Miles was led out of his barn before being taken to the treadmill for a light workout. Joseph checked the horse’s legs both in the stable and on the racetrack.

When asked if he would scratch Lord Miles, he replied, “No.” When asked why he checks his legs, he replied, “I always do that.”

Although Churchill Downs stated that it would “continue to take every measure to ensure the safest possible conditions for horses on our property”, it did not have the authority to require Joseph to scratch his Derby horse as he was already registered with the race. This decision had to come from the racing commission.

Joseph, 36, a native of Barbados, is a top coach from Florida. His 2022 Derby horse, White Abarrio, finished 16th. According to a database that tracks drug use disorders, in 2015 he was fined $500 for testing positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, at Gulfstream Park in Florida, and $1,000 for testing positive for aminocaproic acid, which treats bleeding disorders, in Monmouth Park in New York. Jersey in 2021. He is also appealing a 15-day suspension and $500 for testing positive for gabapentin, an anticonvulsant and nerve pain drug, at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania in 2022.

Horse racing in the United States has long had a culture of drugs and lax regulation, and far more horses are broken and euthanized here than in most other places in the world.

Trainers have experimented with anything that can give their horses an edge, including chemicals that bulk up pigs and cattle before slaughter, cobra venom, Viagra, blood doping, stimulants and cancer drugs. Detection is difficult as labs struggle to keep up.

Conventional medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs pose the greatest risk to the horse and rider. At higher levels, painkillers can mask the injury, making pre-race checks less effective. If the horse does not feel pain, he may run faster than he otherwise would, placing additional stress on the injury.

This was one of the reasons the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority was created under the oversight of the Federal Trade Commission. Rules and penalties written to eliminate doping and abuse in Thoroughbred racing will go into effect May 22.

In 2021, Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby, only to be suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. A few months later, he died while training. An autopsy revealed that California scientists speculated that he might have had a heart attack, but they said they couldn’t be sure. They cited an international study of exercise-related sudden death in racehorses, which showed that the cause of death was determined with certainty in about 53 percent of cases, the presumed cause was established in 25 percent of cases, and the specific cause of death could not be determined. . determined in about 22 percent of them.

Since 2009, the Jockey Club has maintained a horse injury database to track fatal breakdowns at American racetracks and provide a database to analyze how they can be prevented. In that first year, Thoroughbreds had fatal injuries at a rate of two per 1,000 launches.

There were 1.25 fatalities per 1,000 launches last year compared to 1.39 fatalities per 1,000 launches in 2021. This declined for the fourth year in a row, and for the first time the rate was below 1.3 fatalities per 1,000 launches.

“We can say with confidence that the risk of fatal injury is steadily declining both overall and in many specific areas,” said Tim Parkin, professor of veterinary epidemiology at the University of Bristol in England, announcing the latest results in March. He said the six months at the end of 2022 was the safest six-month period since the database was created.

However, there were clusters of fatal accidents. Last month, Maryland’s Laurel Park was closed for three days after a series of injuries resulted in the euthanasia of five horses. Coaches and owners said the track surface was unsafe. The owner of Laurel Park, 1/ST, disputed this claim.

The sport was hit hard in 2019 after 30 horses died in Santa Anita in six months. The news made national headlines and drew the attention of California lawmakers and animal rights activists.

In response, state and racing officials tightened regulations on the use of the riding whip, horse medication, coach and jockey training, track safety regulations, and injured horse recovery policies. Last year, 12 horses died in Santa Anita, and Thoroughbred deaths across California dropped 54 percent from 144 in 2019 to 66 in the most recent fiscal year.

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Miami spices: Lewis Hamilton’s delight at the first of three US F1 races | formula one

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Lewis Hamilton hailed the rise of Formula One in the United States as an outstanding success story in the sport, citing the dream of Formula One to race again in the Miami Grand Prix. He looks set to have another tough weekend at Hard Rock Stadium, but he’s reaffirmed his determination to help Mercedes get back to the top of the grid.

This is the second time Formula 1 has been held in the city after the circuit debuted last season. This is the first of three US races this season. The US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas will take place in October, while the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which will take place on the Strip and will be hosted and promoted by the sport’s owners, Liberty Media, will take place in November.

After four years without a US Grand Prix between 2008 and 2011, racing returned to Austin in 2012 but initially struggled to attract a mass audience. However, in recent years, thanks in part to the TV series Drive to Survive, there has been a huge resurgence in the sport’s popularity with sales of COTA and Miami sold out. Last year, the US Grand Prix drew 440,000 fans over the weekend, an F1 record, while the Miami race drew a record US TV audience of 2.58 million. Hamilton, who is by far the most famous driver in the US, acknowledged how important it is for F1 to be popular in the country.

“It’s a dream for us to be in Miami and in the United States,” he said. “Here they are big sports fans, so to be in such an important city like Miami, where the sport is huge – and now Formula 1 is part of it – it’s great to see.

“It’s amazing for such a huge country that we finally have three races. The difficulty with Formula 1 is that you usually visit the country once a year. But the growth has been huge and it’s such a big market for the sport.”

For the second year in a row, Mercedes have fallen behind leaders Red Bull, who dominated the season with world champion Max Verstappen and teammate Sergio Pérez taking two wins each in their first four meetings. . They expect to have an advantage in Miami as well.

Hamilton finished sixth in Azerbaijan last Sunday and although Mercedes had already decided that they should change the design concept of their car, the fruits of this decision will not be seen until the next round at Imola, in two weeks. The seven-time champion admitted that there would be no magic wand to help the team accelerate, but stated that he lacked the motivation and determination to do so.

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