Jags’ Meyer, Baalke subpoenaed in Iowa discrimination suit

Sports

FILE – Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer watches players perform drills during an NFL football practice in Jacksonville, Fla., in this Monday, June 14, 2021, file photo. The Jacksonville Jaguars said Wednesday, July 14, 2021, that coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke were subpoenaed as part of a lawsuit filed by lawyers for Black players suing former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle for discrimination. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars said Wednesday that coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke were subpoenaed as part of a lawsuit filed by lawyers for Black players suing former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle for discrimination.

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

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

The federal lawsuit, filed in Iowa, accuses Hawkeyes staff of demeaning 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 retaliating against them for speaking out.

The university agreed to pay Doyle $1.1 million in a resignation agreement in June 2020 after scores of former players said on social media that he had bullied and discriminated against them. Doyle has denied the allegations.

An investigation by an outside law firm found the program’s rules “perpetuated racial and culture biases and diminished the value of cultural diversity” and allowed coaches to demean players without consequence.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose earlier released athletic director Gary Barta and current strength coach Raimond Braithwaite as defendants. Also dismissed were allegations that Iowa created and maintained a systemic pattern and practice of unlawful race discrimination and that Ferentz failed to train and supervise his staff.

The former players were allowed to pursue claims of intentional discrimination by offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, Kirk’s son, and Doyle.

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