SAN DIEGO — The San Diego, Calif., Chargers on Tuesday agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former San Diego massage therapist who filed a lawsuit against the NFL over allegations that he forced clients to have foot massages during a 2009 preseason game.
The lawsuit was filed by former San Francisco 49ers and Chargers defensive end Antonio Gates and former NFL Players Association president Deion Sanders in a San Diego County Superior Court in November 2010, the day after San Diego’s preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Gates said in the suit that he and Sanders forced men to have toe-to-toe foot massagers in front of them, as well as an oral sex session with a masseuse, during the game in San Diego.
The suit claims that after the players had been cleared, the masseuse left the field before Gates and Sanders had finished.
Sanders and Gates said in their lawsuit that they had no knowledge of the massages until the next day, when they were contacted by a San Francisco police detective who had witnessed the alleged incident.
Sanders and Gates are now suing the San Francisco Police Department and the San Diego police department.
The NFLPA and the 49ers have declined to comment on the case.
In the settlement agreement, the Chargers said that they would reimburse the masseuses for the time and money spent.
San Diego agreed to a $2.6-million payout to Gates, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press.
Getscha, who previously worked for the 49er and Chargers, said he was surprised by the amount of money paid by the Chargers.
“It is a great honor to finally get something back from this,” he said.
“It is one of the highest paid things I ever did in my career.”
Gates and Sanders said they were also shocked to learn that the San Jose Police Department paid the $2,000 penalty.
The 49ers released a statement about the agreement Tuesday, saying it was a “very disappointing result” that was disappointing for the San Diegans and players who were disappointed by the decision.
The NFLPA is asking the NFL to reconsider its position and offer compensatory damages.