Steelers safety Sean Davis is being sued by a Pittsburgh-area family who alleges that the player mocked their teenage son on social media while Davis waited at a Chick-fil-A drive-thru in Cranberry, PA.
The complaint claims the teenager, who worked at the restaurant, was subsequently bullied at school after Davis posted about the long wait time to his Snapchat account.
"Chick-fil-A got little kids," Davis said in the Snapchat video. "This kid like eight years old. No wonder the lines be so long at Chick-fil-A."
The video, the complaint continued, also "incorporated an emoji of a face laughing until tears were flowing out of its eyes, representing how funny looking he thought the minor-plaintiff was."
Representatives for Davis, a 2016 second-round pick, deny the allegations.
"From our perspective, it was a commentary on a billion-dollar corporation," Randy Fisher, general counsel for MBK Sports Management Group, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It had nothing in particular to do with this young man. What they're alleging goes completely against everything Sean stands for and how he lives his life."
The lawsuit includes claims for libel, cyberbullying, intentional infliction of emotional distress and slander and calls Davis' actions "extreme and outrageous" and "intentional and/or reckless."
MBK Sports also issued this statement:
The attorney for the family, Andrew Leger, contends in the complaint that the teenager "has been hurt and injured in his good name and reputation," and "exposed to public hatred, contempt and ridicule." "He got abused in school for a few weeks over [the video]," Mr. Leger said, adding that "Frankly, we tried mightily to have this settled and not even for money."
The family asked Davis to do a public-service announcement condemning cyberbullying but Davis declined because, according to Eugene Lee, who represents Davis at MBX Sports, "From our viewpoint, this wasn't bullying. It wasn't cyber-bullying."
Instead, Lee told the Post-Gazette that he offered to invite the teenager and two friends to be his guest at a Steelers' training-camp practice, in addition to an invitation to attend Davis' summer football camp in Washington, DC, where he would talk about cyberbullying.
Lee, who maintains that Davis was commenting on the long line at the fast-food restaurant and not the teenager's job performance or appearance, said both offers were rejected.