Jets owner Woody Johnson investigated for alleged racist, sexist comments as UK ambassador, report says

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Another NFL owner is in trouble — this time for alleged remarks he made as United States ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Donald Trump.

CNN reports that Woody Johnson, who co-owns the Jets with his brother Christopher, prompted an investigation by a State Department watchdog for allegedly making racist and sexist comments to staff members while in his diplomatic role. He also is being investigated for misusing his government position to help the president's personal businesses, including pushing to move the British Open golf tournament to a Trump resort in Scotland.

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Johnson allegedly made racist generalizations about Black men. His alleged sexist remarks were tied to talking about how women looked and dressed.

Johnson issued a general denial on Twitter on Wednesday evening:

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.

— Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK) July 22, 2020

When CNN asked him earlier about the allegations, Johnson didn't deny them, and he concluded with an overarching statement about his service. 

"I greatly value the extraordinary work that each and every member of the team does to strengthen and deepen our vital alliance," he told CNN. 

Johnson has served as UK ambassador since August 2017.

Per CNN's sources, here's a more detailed account of Johnson's alleged racism and sexism:

— Being agitated about a Black History Month event in February 2018, to the point of questioning why Black leaders needed a separate month to celebrate Black history

— Arguing that Black fathers not remaining with their families was the "real challenge"

— Holding official embassy gatherings at old men-only London clubs, excluding female diplomats

— Talking about how many pretty women were present at public events

— Preferring female employees because they were cheaper and worked harder

— Being agitated about "a feminist event" for International Women's Day

After The Washington Post report last week detailed sexual harassment accusations in the Washington NFL organization under Daniel Snyder, and with the league starting to better embrace social justice initiatives to fight systemic racism this offseason, this isn't a good look.

It's notable that, after taking the ambassadorship, Woody Johnson removed himself from the Jets' operations, with Christopher Johnson, the minority owner, now overseeing the organization as both the Jets' chairman and CEO. But the NFL, as it should, is still paying close watch on what comes of the State Department probe.

Tagged: Johnson investigated alleged

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