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Fired equipment manager accuses Rams of age discrimination

Steve Spagnuolo

St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


When we wrote last year about the Rams firing equipment manager Todd Hewitt, we heard from a lot of fans who thought the team had treated a longtime employee badly. Now Hewitt is taking the Rams to court, saying they didn’t just treat him badly, they also fired him illegally.

Hewitt, who started working in the Los Angeles Rams’ equipment department as an 11-year-old assistant to his father in 1967, sued the Rams in St. Louis County Court, alleging age discrimination, and he accuses former Rams head coach (and current Saints defensive coordinator) Steve Spagnuolo of specifically targeting him because of his age.

“During the time that Mr. Spagnuolo was the head coach for the Rams, he made statements to Mr. Hewitt about his age, including in 2009, when he told him he was too old for his job,” the lawsuit says, according to Courthouse News. “Mr. Spagnuolo also told Mr. Hewitt that his employment was ‘NFL’ which means ‘Not For Long’ employment.”

Spagnuolo channeling Jerry Glanville aside, Hewitt claims that the Rams showed a pattern of firing older employees during the time when Spagnuolo was head coach and Bill Devaney was general manager. Both Spagnuolo and Devaney were themselves fired this year.