LA Lakers News: Long-Time Radio Employee Files $1-M Lawsuit; Plaintiff A Victim Of Discrimination And Harassment?


LA Lakers news reports are abuzz with the $1 million lawsuit filed by Fernando Gonzalez, a long-time Spanish play-by-play announcer, over what he claimed were patterns of discrimination and harassment.

Also named in the lawsuit are Time Warner Corp., Tim Harris, Lakers senior vice president of operations; Mark Shuken, general manager of TWC Sports Regional Networks and Pablo Urquiza, TWC programming vice president.

According to the official documents filed before the Los Angeles Superior Court, Fernando Gonzales was hired in 1996 as part of the Spanish broadcast team and the discrimination started almost immediately.

He claimed that the Spanish broadcast team wasn’t recognized even if all the other home and visiting broadcast teams were shown on the big screen. It wasn’t until they complained about it did the system changed.

Then during one of the Lakers championships, almost all staff members and broadcasters were given $6,000 commemorative rings except for Fernando Gonzales and his partner Pepe Mantilla. They were told instead to pony up $3,000 each for their own rings.

The LA Lakers news surrounding the $1 million lawsuit was broken by and it said when Fernando Gonzales complained about discrimination, the team “retaliated” by cutting down his number of work hours, which also reduced his overall take by as much as $30,000 annually.

Other harassments included being excluded from one-on-one interview with Kobe Bryant, not given season tickets unlike other broadcast teams, not being able to cover “away” games, being paid less than their Anglo-American counterparts, as well as being left out of new opportunities arising from the LA Lakers and Time Warner deal that created the TWC Sports Regional Networks.

Fernando Gonzales is claiming “past and future lost wages, benefits and other perquisites of employment,” because he suffered “general and special damages, including severe and profound pain and emotional distress, anxiety and depression, and past and future lost wages and benefits,” added.

LA Lakers news reports are silent on the respondents’ comments on the lawsuit filed against them.

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