NFL: Jets owner Woody Johnson investigated over alleged sexist, racist comments

Published July 23, 2020, 9:06 PM

by Carlo Anolin

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, elbow bumps US ambassador to UK and New York Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson upon arrival in London on July 20, 2020. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

Long-time New York Jets owner Woody Johnson was reportedly investigated by the State Department for allegedly making racist and sexist comments.

CNN reported that a diplomat with knowledge of the allegations said Johnson “said some pretty sexist, racist” comments he made in 2018.

He made the racist comments during the celebration of Black History Month in 2018 and another separate “cringeworthy” remark that objectified women.

A source told CNN that Johnson “appeared agitated” before the Black History Month and asked if the audience would be “a whole bunch of Black people.”

Other sources said Johnson, who serves as US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, would speak about women in “offensive and diminishing” ways.

One instance allegedly had him talking about how the women dressed in the embassy.

The 72-year-old Johnson on Wednesday took it to Twitter to deny such allegations.

“I have followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times. These false claims of insensitive remarks about race and gender are totally inconsistent with my longstanding record and values,” he tweeted.

Both the NFL and the Jets released their respective statements.

“We are aware of the report and would refer you to the State Department,” the league said in a statement.

Johnson has been the Jets owner since 2000 and was named US ambassador to UK by Trump in 2017.

The Trump administration has yet to comment on the allegations but the State Department described Johnson as a “valued member of the team.”

“We stand by Ambassador Johnson and look forward to him continuing to ensure our special relationship with the UK is strong,” it added.