Montco football star Brandon McManus released by Washington Commanders amid sexual assault lawsuit

McManus, who signed a contract to join the Commanders this offseason, denied the allegations.

ByJacob Lev and Jason Hanna, CNN CNNWire logo
Monday, June 3, 2024
Washington Commanders release Brandon McManus days after lawsuit accused him of sexual assault
In a lawsuit, two women accused McManus of sexually assaulting them on a Jacksonville Jaguars team-charted flight to London.

The Washington Commanders released kicker Brandon McManus, the NFL team announced on Sunday, days after the filing of a lawsuit in which two women accused him of sexually assaulting them on 2023 flight when he was a member of a different team.

The Commanders' short online announcement about McManus' release did not say why the team dropped him. CNN has sought comment from McManus' representation.

McManus, who is from Hatfield, Pennsylvania, previously attended high school in Lansdale, Pa. before playing at Temple University.

In a lawsuit filed late last month in Florida's Duval County, two women accused McManus, 32, of sexually assaulting them on a Jacksonville Jaguars team-charted flight to London on September 28, while McManus was a member of the Jaguars. The women were flight attendants on that flight, the lawsuit says.

Both women claim that during meal service on the flight, McManus "grinded" his erect clothed penis against them. McManus also tried to kiss one of the women earlier on the flight, according to the lawsuit.

McManus, who signed a contract to join the Commanders this offseason, denied the allegations.

"To be clear, these are absolutely fictitious and demonstrably false allegations made as part of a campaign to defame and disparage a talented and well-respected NFL player," McManus' lawyer, Brett R. Gallaway, told CNN last week. "We intend to aggressively defend Brandon's rights and integrity and clear his name by showing what these claims truly are - an extortion attempt."

The Jaguars organization, which also was named in the lawsuit, said in a release to CNN on Wednesday: "We're aware of the complaint, and we acknowledge the significance of the claims.

"As we continue to look into the matter, it bears emphasizing that we insist on an organization built by people who represent our community and game with the highest character and class."

Jacksonville is accused of "gross negligence" in, among other allegations, its failure to create a safe work environment for the flight staff.

The Commanders were made aware of the civil lawsuit on May 27, and were taking the allegations seriously and were "looking into the matter," a Commanders spokesperson said Tuesday.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the two flight attendants, said on social media last week that the women and their legal team tried to "resolve this matter without the need for litigation" prior to filing the lawsuit.

"Our efforts at resolution were met with arrogance, ignorance and stupidity," the lawyer said.

The women are seeking more than $1 million in damages against the NFL player and the Jaguars, and have demanded a jury trial.

"The allegations made in this lawsuit are very serious," Buzbee said. "We made sure to fully vet them and speak to witnesses before even taking the cases. We will pursue this case with the same tenacity we are known for. It's a shame that this type of conduct still occurs. It happens far too often."

The Jaguars had flown to the London area to play two games there in October.

After playing for Temple University from 2009 to 2012, he went on to spend nine seasons with the Denver Broncos, where he won a Super Bowl in 2016 before his lone season in Jacksonville.

McManus signed with the Jaguars on May 5, 2023, after he was released by the Denver Broncos. The Jaguars gave him a one-year contract worth $2 million, and he made 30 of 37 field goal attempts and all 35 of his extra point attempts last season.

WPVI contributed to this report.

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