Former Kansas City Chiefs community relations director Brenda Sniezek is accusing the team, including GM Scott Pioli and owner Clark Hunt, of age discrimination.
From Courthouse News:
“On January 5, 2011 at a directors’ meeting Mark Donovan was discussing playoff bonuses,” the complaint states. “In response, the CFO Dan Crumb publicly stated, ‘These old people around here think they’re entitled to everything,’ and in response two newly hired executives (in their early 30’s) followed with their opinion of ‘old people’ and their expectations. President Donovan commented that this it the type of discussion ‘I like to hear’ at director’s meetings. Afterwards, plaintiff felt a ‘pit in her stomach.’ Another director (in his mid-fifties) told plaintiff that he would not return to another director’s meeting because of those venomous (ageist) comments, and soon he left the Chiefs.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
The complain also says that on one occasion Pioli was overheard saying “We’re going to get rid of everyone who was with Carl Peterson [the former general manager], especially anyone over the age of 40.”
This is obviously a very serious allegation against the organization. The Chiefs have let go a number of employees under Pioli’s regime but this is the first we’ve heard of age discrimination allegations. I always assumed Pioli wanted to clean house from the Carl Peterson regime but I never considered the possibility that age had anything to do with it.
At this point it appears this is just a complaint and there has yet to be a public response from the Chiefs.
Update: I was able to confirm the case number on the Jackson County courts website.
BRENDA SNIEZEK V KANSAS CITY CHIEFS FOOTBALL CLUB
The complain was file don December 2nd.
We’ve reached out to the Chiefs for comment and are awaiting their reply.