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Warriors Deny Harassment Claim Against Monta Ellis

Publication Date: 
December 22, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Justin Berton and Bob Egelko

Professor William B. Gould is mentioned in the following article by Justin Berton and Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle discussing past claims of sexual harassment in the sports industry.

A sexual harassment complaint filed against the Golden State Warriors and a star player comes on the heels of another lawsuit that alleges the NBA is steeped in a culture that treats women unfairly, and could do more to protect all of its employees - not just the ones who play on the court.

On Wednesday, Erika Smith, the Warriors' former director of community relations, sued the team in Alameda County Superior Court, saying she was fired after executives learned guard Monta Ellis had sent her late-night texts that included a photo of his genitalia.


Though allegations against sports figures of sexual misconduct have garnered widespread headlines - golfer Tiger Woods and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are among the recent examples - they seldom are accused of workplace sexual harassment, said William Gould, a former National Labor Relations Board chairman who teaches labor law and has written about legal issues in sports.

Gould said, however, that big-time sports can foster immaturity and arrogance that manifests itself in sexual abuse, and that college recruiting practices are partly to blame.