Jets owner Woody Johnson was investigated for allegations of controversial remarks and dealings in his role as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, CNN reported Wednesday.
The network said a State Department watchdog looked into claims that Johnson made racist comments about Black men and “cringeworthy” sexist comments about women’s looks, and that he sought to use his position and influence to have the Open Championship played at a Scottish golf resort owned by Trump.
Appointed to the post in August 2017, Johnson’s term as ambassador is set to end later this year.
The report said investigators began looking into Johnson in the fall of 2019, with staff from the Office of the Inspector General traveling to London multiple times over the past year to interview embassy employees and Johnson himself.
Johnson did not deny the specific allegations, telling CNN it was an “honor of a lifetime” to serve as ambassador.
A State Department spokesperson told CNN they “stand by Ambassador Johnson and look forward to him continuing to ensure our special relationship with the U.K. is strong.”
The White House, the Trump Organization and the U.S. Embassy declined to comment on the report.
The NFL referred questions from ESPN to the State Department. The Jets have not released a statement.
Johnson, 73, purchased the Jets in 2000 for $635 million. His younger brother, Christopher, is a minority owner and serves and the team’s chairman and CEO.