KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former employee claims racial discrimination and hostile work environment in a federal lawsuit filed against the Kansas City Royals.
Cleitus Ross filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ross was hired by the club in April 2018 as coordinator of baseball programs at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy.
He was fired just over three years later.
Ross, who is Black, was well-known for his efforts to get inner-city youth involved in baseball.
The lawsuit claims race "played a role in the termination of his employment by the Royals."
In addition, the suit claims senior management of the team knew, or should have known about the discrimination detailed in the lawsuit, but failed to take action.
The Royals sent KSHB 41 a statement on the lawsuit:
The allegations put forward are wholly without merit. The Kansas City Royals organization will vigorously defend itself in this lawsuit. We are confident that once the facts are presented, they will make clear why we should prevail. Since opening its doors in 2018, the Urban Youth Academy (UYA) has dedicated itself to bettering the lives of youth throughout the Kansas City region, regardless of race, color, disability, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We remain unequivocally committed to UYA’s goals and will not allow this legal action to undermine important and impactful work for the youth of our community.