The nine men claim they were fired by the NFL last year for simply being old. The lawsuit details that the nine plaintiffs—James Buckley, Rodney Davis, Mario Di Fonzo, Edward L. Du Bois, III, Don Fuhrman, Walter Martin, Mark Ninehouser, Johnny Smith, and Richard Welsh—worked a variety of tenures at the league, between 11 to 49 years.
The men worked as “security representatives,” which the league hires one of for “each of the NFL’s 32 football teams to provide game day services, as well as stadium inspections, prescription drug audits, background checks, and investigative services, if the NFL so directs.”
Eight of the men worked for specific teams, including the New York Giants, the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills, the Detroit Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Washington Redskin respectively. The ninth man worked out of Las Vegas and focused on investigative services and background checks, according to the Blast.
All of the men are above the age of 60, and five of them are in their 70s. They were let go on July 20, 2017 and told that the league was “moving in a different direction." Meanwhile, no men under the age of 60 were fired that same day. The lawsuit claims that the men hired to replace them “do not have qualifications or experience that are superior to those of the Plaintiffs. They are, however, between 10 and 25 years younger than the Plaintiffs.”
The men filed their lawsuit in New York on Monday, claiming that the NFL violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. They are seeking damages in excess of $10 million and missing wages they allege they are owed.