Ex-Kings staffer sues team for allegedly firing her following sexual harassment claim
The Sacramento Kings are in hot water right now after an ex-employee has decided to sue the team over her claim that she was wrongfully terminated after filing a sexual harassment claim against a colleague.
The lawsuit comes from Sydney Haydel, who was named as the director of operations for the Sacramento’s NBA G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings. Haydel, who also served as the team’s player development coordinator, has reportedly “filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging wrongful termination, sexual harassment, whistle blower retaliation and other claims (h/t Sam Stanton of The Sacramento Bee).”
Haydel claims that Akachi Okugo, who at that time was an assistant coach for Stockton, “strongly encouraged” her and other female staffers to join him at a party during last year’s Summer League in Las Vegas.
“Okugo made numerous unwelcome advances towards Plaintiff and pressed his body against hers while asking her if she had a boyfriend,” the lawsuit states. “Stockton Kings Head Coach Bobby Jackson and Assistant Coach Jimmy Alapag witnessed Okugo’s harassment of Plaintiff, but they did nothing to address it or try to stop it.
“To Plaintiffs horror, Okugo put his fingers in Haydel’s mouth.”
Haydel reportedly raised the issue with Kings general manager Paul Johnson, who for his part, failed to act on the situation swiftly — at least according to Haydel’s suit. She eventually got fired without finding a resolution for her claim.
The Kings have come out with their official statement on the issue, and they have denied all of Haydel’s claims:
“The accusations of wrongdoing are false and will be addressed through the appropriate legal process,” the statement read.
This is obviously a bad look for the Kings, and you can be sure that the league will keep a keen eye on this situation.