The acting president considered hiring the former NFL player as “among his predecessor’s mistakes.”
A former NFL player who served as a diversity officer at Liberty University has sued the Christian school for $8 million, claiming his firing violated the Civil Rights Act and the Virginia Human Rights Act.
In a complaint filed Friday in federal court for the Western District of Virginia, Kelvin Edwards, a former executive vice president of management efficiencies and diversity, alleges that he was fired because Liberty’s acting president, Jerry Prevo, does not value diversity.
Edwards was hired in the summer of 2020, according to the complaint, to take a leadership role in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, which seeks to keep the school “free from unbiblical and unlawful discrimination.”
The job offer included a $275,000 salary, a $1,500 monthly car allowance, scholarships for Edwards and his family, and a new home, according to the complaint. To take the job, Edwards states that his wife life left a teaching job and he left a job at a car dealership in Texas, where the family formerly lived.
The complaint alleges that the school committed to Edwards for 10 years during the recruiting process.
A former Liberty University football star who went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, Edwards cited his close ties to the Falwell family in a news release announcing his return to the school.
The hiring of Edwards and football coach Turner Gill at Liberty was touted as part of the school’s “ongoing efforts in diversity,” according to the news release, dated Aug. 4, 2020.
“I warmly refer to Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., as my ‘father’ not only because of the intimate relationship and mentorship between us, but also because current President …