JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) — Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo is suing the NFL team, alleging that former Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer created a “hostile work environment.”
In the lawsuit, filed in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, Florida on Tuesday, Lambo claimed that during a practice in August, Meyer “kicked him in the leg, and used profanity to insult [him] and warn him to make his kicks. Specifically, [Meyer] allegedly screamed at [Lambo], ‘Hey Dips**t, make your f**king kicks!’”
Lambo responded to Meyer, according to the suit, telling the coach, “‘Don’t you ever f**king kick me again!’ [Meyer] responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f**k I want.’”
According to the Tampa Bay Times in December, Meyer denied what Lambo said was accurate.
“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer told the paper. “(General manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”
The lawsuit alleges that Lambo informed the Jaguars about the incident through his agent, Richard Irvin, but the team “did not initiate an investigation” nor “intervene in the close working conditions” between the two.
The suit claims that Meyer “initiated a pattern of harassment, and created a hostile work environment.” The former coach threatened to cut Lambo, the suit asserts, “if he ever objected to his behavior or challenged his authority again.”
The complaint said that Meyer continued to harass the kicker verbally and used “intimidation tactics to distract [him] while he practiced kicks.” Lambo “felt the stress” of the coach’s “retaliatory actions, which affected [Lambo’s] ability to sleep, practice, and perform his job as he had in previous seasons under different coaches,” per the complaint.
CNN has reached out to Meyer and the Jaguars for comment.
Jacksonville cut Lambo in October after the kicker missed all three of his field-goal attempts in the first three weeks of the 2021 season. The suit said his missed field goals “did not cause any losses for the Jaguars.”
According to the filing, Lambo’s release allegedly violated the Florida Private Sector Whistle-blower’s Act “concerning assault, battery, and workplace violence in furtherance of an employer’s interest.”
After he was cut, the lawsuit alleges that Lambo “suffered professional ramifications including lost wages, benefits and other remuneration, as well as extreme emotional and mental distress because of the harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation” by the Jaguars.
Lambo is seeking “back pay” damages. According to Spotrac, Lambo’s salary for the 2021 season was $3.5 million.
The Jaguars fired Meyer in December after only 13 games (2-11) in his first NFL coaching season.
At the time of his firing, team owner Shad Kahn said in a statement, “Thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”
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