Ex-Houston Texans GM accused of targeting black employees in firing
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The former general manager of the Houston Texans has been accused of racial discrimination against black employees at the organization.

The Houston Chronicle reported Thursday that the NFL team's former security coordinator, Jeff Pope, has filed an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) lawsuit against the team alleging that former general manager Brian Gaine terminated Pope and others due to their race.

In a discrimination complaint obtained by USA Today, Pope outlines what he says were Gaine's efforts to systematically identify black employees in leadership positions and fire them, replacing them with employees of other racial backgrounds.

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“It appeared, and I believe, that he was targeting all minorities in leadership positions and was set to replace them with non-African-Americans. Which he did,” Pope wrote in the complaint, according to USA Today.

“In short, every African American in the building understood that not too many of us could congregate or be seen interacting with each other even during lunch because it did not look good to the powers that be,” he added. “I believe I was discriminated against and terminated on the basis of my race and color."

Gaine was fired himself just days ago by the Texans. A spokeswoman for the organization told the news outlets that claims of discrimination were "not a factor in the recent decision to relieve Brian Gaine from his job as general manager.”

“We have just been made aware of Mr. Pope’s claim,” Amy Palcic said in a statement. “We do not comment on pending litigation. The Houston Texans do not tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind."

An attorney for Pope told the news outlets that the Texans "declined" to negotiate a severance package offered to Pope after his firing when contacted by Pope's attorney about the discrimination claims.

"We discussed what his options were and filed the EEOC discrimination complaint. Prior to doing so, we got in contact with the Texans about negotiating and at least giving him a severance package that's fair. They declined to engage in that process," Pope's attorney said.

"My client was terminated; we are alleging it was clearly on the basis of race by Mr. Gaine, who was recently terminated by the Texans," added the attorney, N. Lucy Chukwurah.