PITTSBURGH — Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against a Pittsburgh company he had promoted for its commitment to diversity.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, western district. It cites breach of contract and seeks $66 million in damages.
The former Steelers star and Super Bowl winner contends EQT Production Company, an energy corporation, owes Bettis’ IntegrServ trucking company money and dropped its commitment to use minority-owned businesses. Bettis and brother John own 51% of IntegrServ.
EQT has denied wrongdoing, alleging IntegrServ mismanaged its part of the contract.
“Especially in times like these, we had to file the lawsuit because everyone deserves to be treated fairly and that simply didn’t happen here,” Bettis said.
According to the lawsuit, EQT agreed with two of Bettis’ white partners to supply services that were previously contracted to IntegrServ.
Channel 11 contacted Bettis, who told Sports Director Alby Oxenreiter he cannot speak about the lawsuit right now, on the advisement of his attorney.
Bettis is a football analyst for WPXI and hosts the Jerome Bettis Show, which airs during the NFL season.
In the past, Channel 11 has partnered with EQT for the annual 4th of July Flashes of Freedom fireworks show.
Bettis issued the following statement to Channel 11 regarding the lawsuit: “We believe that our minority owned business was treated unfairly. I had to speak up.”
The Associated Press contributed information to this report.
Cox Media Group