Eric Davis and Michael Irvin are the latest former NFL players-turned-NFL Network analysts to be accused of sexual misconduct.
Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp and Donovan McNabb and others were named in an initial lawsuit by former NFL Network employee Jami Cantor, who claims that the men sexually harassed her.
Now another NFL Network employee, Erin McParland, who worked as a makeup artist, claims that during her three years with the sports station, she was repeatedly harassed by Davis and Irvin.
“When Davis came to the makeup room, he would comment on how flexible I was when I leaned down to pick up a product,” she told Sports Illustrated. “I brushed such comments off.”
McParland claims that advances increased and soon moved to direct messages on Instagram.
“He continued to remark on my flexibility and became suggestive about how good things could be between us sexually,” McParland said. “I continued to brush off these unwanted sexual comments.”
In March 2016, McParland believed that the advances had stopped after she reportedly rebuffed Davis’ invite to join him at a tennis tournament. Once football season began and she was back at work, though, she claims that the harassment began again.
“One day, before leaving the makeup room, Davis leaned in for a hug. Since things seemed back on track, I didn’t see the harm,” she says. “Except the hug lingered on too long for my comfort.
“The next time I was in makeup and Davis was leaving, he leaned in for another hug. This time, not only was the hug too long, but it was too close. I could feel him pressing and rubbing his genitals into my leg. I felt frozen, numb.”
McParland claims that the next time Davis went in for a hug, he went “full-on predatory.”
“Davis went in for a hug and then, with both hands, grabbed and fondled my buttocks,” McParland said. “I instantly pulled away, recoiling. I looked him in the eyes and firmly told him, ‘Hands off.’”
After sharing stories with another makeup artist, McParland learned that she wasn’t the only employee who had been the target of sexually inappropriate behavior by Davis.
“Hearing her account, identical to mine, put me over the edge,” McParland said. “I went from feeling numb and scared to feeling angry and vulnerable. I went straight to HR. As soon as the door closed behind me, I sobbed.”
McParland also claims that during commercial breaks, as she went to powder Irvin on set, the former wide receiver would grab her waist.
“From then on, my guard with Irvin was up,” she says. “I went out of my way to avoid him, and if I did have to work with him, I’d have to remind him to ‘not touch.’”
Irvin and and Davis did not respond to SI’s request for comment.
When reached by the Dallas Morning News, Irvin said that the network instructed him not to comment, but the news site noted that Irvin is scheduled to work this Sunday.
Read more at Sports Illustrated and the Dallas Morning News.