*Former NFL stars Eric Davis and Michael Irvin are the latest on-air talents to be accused of sexual misconduct after a former makeup artist for the NFL Network came forward in an article published Thursday on SI.com.
Erin McParland, who began work at the network in 2014, says Davis started by making inappropriate comments toward her before eventually sexually assaulting her during the filming of “Total Access.” She also alleges that Irvin made inappropriate gestures and comments toward her while on the set of “NFL GameDay.”
McParland said she reported both Davis and Irvin to NFL Network’s human resources department. With Irvin, she said HR never followed up on the matter. With Davis, she said HR handled her case with “empathy and support” at first. But then the head of the department asked to meet with Davis on the same day she was scheduled to work, leading Davis to go out of his way and aggressively approach her.
“The HR head explained to me that it would be in Davis’s best interest to leave the NFL Network quietly,” McParland told SI.com. “That would protect both the network and Davis from negative public exposure. Both parties would save face. Lift the rug, sweep it under.”
Davis went on to work at ESPN.
In a statement to SI, an NFL Network spokesperson said it took the proper actions in response to McParland’s allegations.
“Ms. McParland brought forth allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct,” NFL Media vice president of communications Alex Riethmiller said in a statement. “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.”
McParland’s allegations are the latest to surface regarding the NFL Network.
Another former makeup artist there, Jami Cantor, sued the network earlier this month, accusing three retired players and others who have worked there — including Davis, Marshall Faulk and Donovan McNabb — of sexual misconduct. The NFL, which owns the network, suspended three employees named in the suit — Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans — pending an investigation into Cantor’s allegations.
An executive at the network, David Eaton, resigned amid complaints about a hostile work environment for female employees — and a history of sexually explicit conversations on Twitter.
Like Davis, McNabb went on to work for ESPN, which pulled both from the air Dec. 12 while it investigated the matter.