Miami Dolphins Scout Claims He Was Fired For Taking Care of Ailing Wife
Along with being mediocre on the field going on nearly two decades, going through an embarrassing bullying scandal last season, and having to suspend a player for making homophobic comments, comes new allegations from a former scout who says he was fired by the team for taking care of his ill wife.
According to a report from Fox Sports, Nate Sullivan, who had worked with the team as a scout for 17 years, is saying he was wrongfully fired because new general manager Dennis Hickey didn't like that Sullivan worked from home.
Sullivan has been working from home for several years to care for his wife JoAnne, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and a severe blood vessel ailment.
Sullivan has been working from home since 2004, and had been allowed to do so by the previous GMs, Jeff Ireland and Rick Spielman.
But, Sullivan says, Hickey was not too keen on the idea, and so fired him.
Sullivan's attorney, however, says that the Dolphins are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, and sent an intent-to-initiate-litigation letter to the team and the NFL.
Title 29 of the Americans With Disabilities Act says:
"It is unlawful for a covered entity to exclude or deny equal jobs or benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against, a qualified individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a family, business, social or other relationship or association."
Seemingly even worse, according to Sullivan's intent-to-initiate-litigation letter, is that the Dolphins began excluding cystic fibrosis medications from their health care plan in April.
Under the new policy, prescriptions for cystic fibrosis medication when from $10 to $3,000 per pill. The letter also says that cystic fibrosis was the only ailment targeted for such drastic changes.
The intent-to-initiate-litigation letter also states the Dolphins began excluding cystic fibrosis medications from their health care when revamping their insurance offerings in April. Harr told FOX Sports 1 that the cost of one prescription skyrocketed from $10 to $3,000 per pill under the new policy.
"It is our understanding that Cystic Fibrosis was the only terminal medical condition singled out," the letter states. "This drastic reduction in health care benefits jeopardized JoAnne Sullivan's ability to afford her pharmaceuticals, shifting an exorbitant financial burden on the Sullivans."
For their part, the Dolphins have refused to address the issue with the media.
But it's clear that this is looking like yet another black eye for a franchise trying to clean up its image following the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin scandal from a season ago.
Yet, so far this offseason, they've done nothing but made things worse.
Earlier this month, safety Don Jones tweeted out disapproving comments about Michael Sam -- the NFL's first openly gay player -- being shown kissing his boyfriend as he celebrated being drafted by the St. Louis Rams.
Just days before that, center Mike Pouncey tweeted out comments that alluded to rookie hazing.
Both players were spoken with by the team. Pouncey deleted his Twitter account, and Jones was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount.
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.