When talking about sports, it would be only fair to comment games, players’ performance, conflictual decisions, strategies and so on. But, as plain as that looks, we can only thank God for making players human and allowing them to make mistakes from time to time. Monta Ellis, Warriors’ star guard is the latest to make the headlines for his mistakes. True, this time are only alleged mistakes. Monta is being sued for sexual harassment.
The allegations come from a former Golden State Warriors employee, Erika Ross Smith, who says Monta Ellis has been sending her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals. It seems that everything started one year ago in November and it continued during the time she worked for the team’s community relations department.
Smith was eventually fired, when Monta’s wife learned of the texts and complained to team executives.
According to the filed complaint, the text messages the woman received from Warriors’ guard start, included lines such as “I want to be with you” or “Hey Sexy” and questions regarding what she was wearing or doing.
Burt Boltuch, the lawyer of the woman claiming to have been sexual harassed by Monta, said that his client rejected the player’s advances, but did not come forward with them at that time fearing no one would believe her.
Boltuch said: “On a micro level, my client has endured unwanted harassment, has suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress and trauma”. The lawyer continues: “On a macro level, this type of conduct, especially in the sports world, must stop. She was embarrassed. She was intimidated. She felt scared and helpless”.
Rick Welts, Warrior’s president and chief operating officer, said: “When we were made aware of a consensual relationship between Mr. Ellis and the Plaintiff, we did what an organization should do. We told both to stop — promptly, directly and fairly”. Welts also mentioned that the team has “never taken any action against the Plaintiff for any inappropriate reason” and completely denies “the allegations she is making”.
Boltuch does not concur with the team’s claim and it emphasizes that the so-called “consensual relationship” Welts was talking about was “absolutely, unequivocally 100% not consensual. And if it was, why was my client’s job duties removed and nothing was done to Mr. Ellis? To me that smacks of sexual harassment”.