Jets owner Woody Johnson made "inappropriate or insensitive comments" pertaining to religion, sex and race in his post as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, according to a U.S. State Department report obtained by ESPN's Rich Cimini.
Allegations surrounding Johnson's comments surfaced in July. The Jets owner reportedly made racist comments regarding Black men and "questioned why the Black community celebrates Black History Month," according to CNN. Johnson also allegedly made a slew of sexist comments by noting that he preferred working with women because they were "cheaper and worked harder than men," per CNN.
Johnson denied the findings of the State Department's report.
"If I have unintentionally offended anyone in the execution of my duties, I deeply regret that, but I do not accept that I have treated employees with disrespect or discriminated in any way," Johnson said, per Cimini. "My objective is to lead the highly talented team at Mission UK to execute the President's policies and to do so in a way that is respectful of our differences, with zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind."
Johnson has been the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom since August 2017. He is likely to return to his post running the Jets at the end of 2020 when his three-year term as ambassador ends. Johnson's younger brother, Chris, has run the Jets over the last three seasons.
The Jets finished third in the AFC East in 2019 at 7–9. They have not reached the playoffs in nine straight seasons.