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Former Jaguars Kicker Sues Team for Abuse


Former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer. | Image by Andy Lyons, Getty Images

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On Tuesday, former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo filed a lawsuit against the team in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County, Florida.

The lawsuit claims the Jaguars created a “hostile team environment” and that Lambo’s performance was affected due to then-head coach Urban Meyer allegedly kicking and verbally abusing him.

Lambo has the seventh-best field goal percentage in NFL history but missed a field goal in each of the Jaguars’ first two preseason games last season. The alleged incident happened during a practice session before the team’s final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The lawsuit claims that while Lambo was stretching, Meyer approached him and said, “Hey Dips–t, make your f–king kicks!” and then kicked him in the leg. Lambo responded to Meyer by telling him never to strike him again, to which Meyer is alleged to have responded by saying, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f–k I want.”

The lawsuit claims that an employer physically striking an employee at work and then threatening to do so again is illegal under Florida civil and criminal law.

A day after the kicking incident, Lambo alleges that Meyer threatened to release him, saying, “You’re the first player I’ve ever let speak to me that way in my career, and if you do it again, you’re gone.”

According to the lawsuit, Lambo’s ability to sleep, practice, and perform his job the way he had during his previous seven NFL seasons was negatively affected.

“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had the intended effect on Mr. Lambo, resulting in Mr. Lambo uncharacteristically missing difficult and long kicks from the ranges of fifty-five yards, fifty-two yards, and fifty-eight yards,” according to the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Lambo immediately reported the incident to the Jaguars’ legal counsel through his agent, Richard Irvin. However, he was subsequently released by the team on October 19. The lawsuit claims that the release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistle Blower’s Act.

Lambo is seeking a jury trial and hopes to be awarded his $3.5 million salary for 2021 with interest and “compensation for any special damages sustained as emotional stress and reputational harm and litigation fees,” among other costs.

Richard Irvin and the Jaguars confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times on December 15 that the team’s legal counsel was contacted, and Lambo was offered a chance to meet with them. Lambo claims, however, that he has “no recollection of being able to speak with the Jags’ legal team.”

“Jaguars legal counsel indeed acknowledged and responded immediately to the query made by Josh Lambo’s agent Friday, August 27, 2021,” the Jaguars said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “Counsel offered to speak with Josh or to assist Josh in speaking with coaching or any other football personnel if he was comfortable sharing the information. Any suggestion otherwise is blatantly false.”

Hours after the Tampa Bay Times reported the kicking incident in December, Meyer was fired by the Jaguars after just 13 games as head coach.

Meyer denied that the incident happened the way Lambo claims.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer said. “[General manager] Trent [Baalke] and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”

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