June 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Broadcaster Files Lawsuit Against Lakers

Lakers
A Lakers play-by-play announcer has sued the team for racial discrimination. (Thinkstock)

A Mexican American broadcaster filed on May 27 lawsuit against the Los Angeles Lakers, alleging the professional basketball franchise racially discriminated against him and has been retaliated against.

Fernando Gonzalez, who had provided Spanish-language play-by-play commentary of Lakers games since 1996, alleged the NBA team treated him differently than his “Anglo American counterparts.”

According to the complaint, which names both the team and Time Warner Cable, Gonzalez was “treated less favorably than his Anglo American counterparts in terms of wages, hours, and conditions of employment.”

The complaint, which seeks a judgment of at least $1 million, also alleged the Lakers treated Gonzales, 53, differently from and “less favorably than” employees under the age of 40.

“He suffered pretty brutal racial segregation. I’m surprised the Lakers didn’t have a separate bathroom for him,” Lisa Maki, Gonzalez’s attorney, told Westside Today in front of the Los Angeles Superior Court on May 30. “Things really heated up over the past three years. The more he complained, the more he was retaliated against. They are basically squeezing him out.”

Maki added while “he loves the Lakers,” when Gonzalez brought up his complaints to management, he lost game assignments and pay.

A copy of the complaint obtained by Westside Today indicated Gonzalez had a laundry list of complaints against Lakers management. In 1997, for example, the complaint stated while the team announced the game’s announcers on the big screen prior to the game, Gonzalez was not included in the introductions on days he worked.

Gonzalez also alleged he had to pay $3,000 for a commemorative championship ring when the Lakers won the NBA Finals in 2000, whereas other staff members received the finger jewel – a $6,000 value according to the complaint – for free.

Another allegation: between 1996 and 2006, Gonzalez stated most Lakers broadcasters were given season tickets as part of their contract. The perk was not extended to Gonzalez, the complaint stated.

It was also alleged Gonzalez was paid less than his counterparts on the English-language networks even though they both did the same job.

Gonzalez also alleged he had to pay $3,000 for a commemorative championship ring when the Lakers won the NBA Finals in 2000, whereas other staff members received the finger jewel – a $6,000 value according to the complaint – for free.

Meanwhile, the Lakers’ provided an official comment on the filed lawsuit, claiming Gonzalez’s complaint lacked merit.

“We do not believe these allegations have any merit, and would like to point out that the majority of our broadcasters are people of color.  Furthermore, the Lakers were the first team in the NBA to conduct full-time radio broadcasts in Spanish, which began 20 years ago,” John Black stated on behalf of the Lakers.

His statement continued:

“During the 2012-13 season, we became the first team to have a separate TV broadcast network (TWC Deportes) to televise games in Spanish. Although these initiatives have financially been minimally-profitable to us, we feel they’ve been extremely successful to us in terms of providing a desired and needed service to a large part of our fan base. The Los Angeles Lakers appreciate and respect the diverse makeup of our workforce and are committed to providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination and in accordance with the law. Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we cannot comment any further about this case.”

The primary radio carriers for Lakers broadcasts are ESPN 710 AM and ESPN Deportes 1330 AM. On television, the Lakers can be viewed on its own sports network with Time Warner Cable.

 

Related Posts

UCLA Film Archive Celebrates Iranian Cinema’s Resilience and Creativity

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Explore New Voices at the Film Archive’s Billy Wilder Theater. The UCLA Film & Television Archive continues its dedication to...

(Video) Sport Fishing and Whale Watching on the Pacific Offered by MDR Sportfishing

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Located Out of Marina del Rey, More Information Can Be Found at mdrsf.com @centurycitywestwoodnews Operating out of Marina del Rey,...

LA County Issues Ocean Water Use Warning for Several Beaches on the First Day of Summer

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Elevated Bacterial Levels Prompt Health Advisory for Popular Coastal Spots Sadly, on the first day of Summer, the Los Angeles...

California Supreme Court Blocks Tax Measure from November Ballot

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Ruling Halts Effort to Overturn Measure ULA In a ruling issued on Thursday, the California Supreme Court blocked the Taxpayer...

(Video) Director Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin Q&A On Their New Film The Exorcism

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

It stars Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington, and David Hyde-Peirce. @centurycitywestwoodnews Director Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin Q&A On Their...

Westfield Century City Announces First Annual Foodie Week Starting Today

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

Deals and Prix-Fixe Menus Available From June 20th to June 27th Westfield Century City, a premier outdoor shopping destination in...

Los Angeles Public Health Warns of Surge in Mpox Cases Reported in Los Angeles County

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Public Health Officials Urge Testing, Prevention, and Vaccination Amid Recent Spike The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is...

Pedestrian Fatally Struck While Crossing the 405 Freeway in Brentwood

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Victim Hit While Crossing Southbound Lanes; Investigation Underway A pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle on the I-405 southbound...

Brentwood, Palisades, West LA Libraries Closures for Juneteenth

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Upcoming Program and Event Schedules for The Week  Brentwood Library Schedule: We are celebrating Juneteenth this Wednesday, June 19! The...

LAUSD Board Approves Cell Phone Ban for District Schools

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Resolution Aims to Be Effective by January 2025 The LAUSD board voted 5-2 on Tuesday to pass a resolution authored...

Gunfire Incident at Westchester Park Leads to Arrest, Prompts Community Meeting

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

LAPD Pursues Suspect After Shots Fired, Councilmember Responds An LAPD spokesperson confirmed that a disturbing incident took place at Westchester...

Toddler Fatally Struck by Relative’s RV at Dockweiler State Beach

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

2-Year-Old Child Lancaster Identified as Victim in Tragic Accident A toddler died Saturday after being struck by a relative who...

Texas Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Threatening U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Gaherty Targeted the Congresswoman With Racist and Violent Threats  A Texas man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison...

LAUSD Considers Cell Phone Ban for Students During School Day

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Some Parents Object Citing Safety Issues During a Crisis The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering a policy that...

Brentwood Beat: Giving Some Brentwood Thanks on the Fourth of July

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

As July 4th approaches, we should be thankful to live in America.   Sure, our country has its issues, but immigrants...