Billionaire and NFL owner, Woody Johnson, is being investigated by the State Department watchdog after he allegedly made racist and sexist comments to staff and attempted to use his government position to try to benefit President Donald Trump‘s personal business in the United Kingdom, as reported by CNN.
The New York Jets owner serves as President Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. He was also accused of pushing to move the British Open golf tournament to a Trump resort in Scotland.
Back in 2018, before an event for Black History Month, Johnson was reported to appear agitated and inquired if the audience would be “a whole bunch of Black people,” according to a source. Three other sources stated that Johnson questioned why the Black community would want a separate month to celebrate Black history and that Black fathers didn’t remain with their families and that was the “real challenge.” An official who heard the remarks was “stunned” and the incident was documented and made known to both the Office of Inspector General inspectors and a supervisor.
Johnson posted a statement on his Twitter ambassador account refuting the accusations.
I have followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times. These false claims of insensitive remarks about race and gender are totally inconsistent with my longstanding record and values.
— Ambassador Johnson (@USAmbUK) July 22, 2020
The White House did not have a comment on the allegations against Johnson and referred CNN to the State Department. A State Department spokesperson called Johnson “a valued member of the team who has led Mission UK honorably and professionally.”
“We stand by Ambassador Johnson and look forward to him continuing to ensure our special relationship with the UK is strong.”
During a White House press briefing earlier this week, Trump was asked if he had spoken to Johnson about bringing the British Open to Turnberry, Trump denied it happened and said he “never spoke to Woody Johnson about doing that.”