If former Huskies quarterback and current Seahawks analyst Warren Moon’s executive assistant is being truthful in a reported lawsuit, Moon would instantly go from all-time great to reprobate. And he wouldn’t deserve to see a broadcast booth again.
A Husky hero who led Washington to the 1978 Rose Bowl? That might not be Warren Moon.
A Hall of Fame quarterback who inspired a generation of African-Americans? That might not be Warren, either.
Award-winning philanthropist? Insightful commentator? Seattle sports ambassador? No.
Allegations of sexual misconductSince The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, multiple men in Hollywood, politics and media have faced allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to rape. Here's a list of some of the people who have been accused.
How have sexual harassment and the #MeToo conversation affected you?We want to hear your thoughts. Whether you work in tech, government, media, finance, the arts or another field, has sexual harassment or sexism affected you or the culture you work in? Are you becoming more cautious with co-workers or other people in your life?
If Wendy Haskell’s sexual-harassment allegations are true, Moon would be remembered first and foremost as a predator.
Perhaps reports of this manner should no longer be shocking, but it was hard not to gasp at the lawsuit Haskell filed Monday. The lawsuit, which was posted online, details myriad examples of emotional and sexual abuse she allegedly endured while working as Moon’s executive assistant at Sports 1 Marketing.
It says he would grab her crotch as she slept. It says he once drugged her drink because she wasn’t “having fun.” It says he required that they share a bed on road trips and that she leave the bathroom door open while she showered.
And if she refused to comply — she’d be fired.
We haven’t heard Moon’s side of the story, and that’s important to point out. In a text to Paul Silvi of KING 5, Moon denied the allegations, and earlier Wednesday he asked the Seahawks for a leave of absence from his broadcasting gig.
But this still doesn’t look good. If Haskell is being truthful, Moon would instantly go from all-time great to reprobate. And he wouldn’t deserve to see a broadcast booth again.
It’s hard to read allegations about someone you think cleaned his life up. Last year, Moon won the Royal Brougham Legend Award, which is given “to an individual for a lifetime achievement in sports and who exemplifies the spirit of our state.”
But celebrities have consistently shown that their private actions don’t reflect their public images. And if this lawsuit is factual, Moon would be the latest to lead us astray.
According to the lawsuit, Haskell alleged that before a company trip to Cabo San Lucas last October, Moon emailed her and other S1M employees to inform them of a strict dress code, which included “neon G-strings.” She said he warned of “severe penalties” should they choose not to don the required wardrobe.
Not that Moon, 61, necessarily intended for such attire to stay on. According to the 32-year-old Haskell, he reportedly ripped off her bathing suit despite her pleas for him not to.
The report said Haskell would confront Moon on his behavior, but that he would respond “that’s just the way it is.” The alleged threat was that he could always find someone else if she didn’t abide by his rules.
If true, these aren’t the actions of some old, drunken creeper. These would be the actions of a scoundrel.
Haskell — a former Division I volleyball player who has a doctorate in physical therapy — reportedly added that she told S1M CEO David Meltzer of her hell but was essentially ignored. She said she complained to Meltzer about Moon’s abuse last October — expressing particular concern over the upcoming trip to Cabo — only for Meltzer to tell her to take the trip regardless.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Five questions for the Seahawks in preseason game No. 2 against the Minnesota Vikings | Analysis
- Mariners manager Scott Servais shows first frustration with rookie left-hander Yusei Kikuchi
- Shaquem Griffin, an inspirational NFL story, might be on the bubble to make the 2019 Seahawks roster | Larry Stone
- Sports on TV & radio: Local listings for Seattle games and events
- Mariners manager Scott Servais benches Mallex Smith for repeated mental mistakes
No discipline toward Moon followed. But according to the report, a demotion for Haskell did. Supposedly that was her punishment for speaking out against Warren’s actions, which she says included multiple requests for her to disrobe.
Maybe this shouldn’t be all that surprising for those aware of Moon’s past. In 1995, a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader sued him for sexual harassment after he allegedly offered her money for sex. They settled out of court.
A year later, Moon — who has also faced multiple drunken-driving charges — was arrested for domestic violence, although he was acquitted when his wife testified that she initiated the fight.
Even so, those were incidents. If Haskell is being honest, what Moon did with her suggests a reprehensible pattern of behavior and sense of entitlement.
Haskell’s lawsuit was filed Monday, yet, amazingly, Moon was at the VMAC watching Pete Carroll, Bobby Wagner and Doug Baldwin give news conferences. It didn’t appear as though he even told the Seahawks about the allegations — he just waltzed in like it was another day.
Well, a few hours later — after The Washington Post story on the lawsuit broke — the Seahawks announced that they had accepted his leave-of-absence request and that he would be off the air. Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will fill in as analysts indefinitely.
Obviously, Moon didn’t have a spotless record before this week, but he was admired in this town. He endeared himself to Seattleites through his accomplishments on the field, in the broadcast booth and in the community.
But if what’s written in that reported lawsuit really happened, all that disappears. The QB would be knocked down and not deserve to get up.