Lakers Spanish-language radio voice Fernando Gonzalez sues team


Longtime Lakers Spanish-language radio play-by-play announcer Fernando Gonzalez has filed a lawsuit against the team and Time Warner Cable.

As detailed by the Hollywood Reporter, Gonzalez is suing the team and the network for discrimination and harassment.

Gonzalez claims that the Lakers treated him “differently from and less favorably than his Anglo-American counterparts in terms of wages, hours and conditions of employment.”


Among the charges in the lawsuit, Gonzalez, who has been with the Lakers since 1996 (partnering with Pepe Mantilla), says that when the Lakers won the NBA championship in 2000, “almost all” the staff members and broadcasters received a $6,000 commemorative ring, but that he and Mantilla were told they would have to pay $3,000 each for their rings. The late Chick Hearn stepped in on behalf of Gonzalez and Mantilla.

Gonzalez also claims that the Lakers didn’t provide season tickets to the Spanish-language broadcast team, which “all other broadcasters were receiving as a matter of course.”

Other issues include claims of disparate pay, reduced travel, limited opportunities with the team’s new TV channel and not a single “one-on-one interview with Kobe Bryant.”

Tim Harris, the Lakers’ chief marketing officer, is named as a defendant in the suit, as are Time Warner Cable general manager Mark Shuken and programming vice president Pablo Urquiza.

Gonzales appears to be seeking a judgment of at least $1 million.

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