The Washington Commanders created a “toxic work culture” for greater than twenty years, “ignoring and downplaying sexual misconduct” via males on the most sensible ranges of the group, in line with a file printed on Thursday via america House committee on oversight and reform.
Commanders proprietor Dan Snyder was once concerned within the misconduct, in line with the file, which stated he inappropriately touched a former worker at a dinner, had staffers produce a video “of sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders,” and ordered that girls who had been auditioning to be cheerleaders stroll at the box “while he and his friends gawked from his suite through binoculars.”
Snyder additionally interfered in what’s referred to as the Wilkinson investigation, which the NFL ultimately took over, that stemmed from former staff alleging rampant sexual harassment via crew executives in 2020, the file stated. He additionally had a separate shadow investigation happening, which the file stated was once utilized by his attorneys to “cast him as the victim of a defamation campaign … and deflect responsibility for the team’s toxic work culture.”
The crew proprietor additionally interfered with the House committee’s investigation via “intimidating witnesses,” “refusing to release former employees form their confidentiality obligations” and blocking off “the Committee’s access to tens of thousands of documents collected during the Wilkinson Investigation.” When Snyder did testify in a deposition to the committee, the file stated, he was once evasive and deceptive and stated greater than 100 instances that he didn’t recall issues.
The NFL isn’t protected against grievance within the file, which says the league “missed the public about its handling of the Wilkinson Investigation,” “continues to minimize workplace misconduct across the league,” “has not protected workers from sexual harassment and abuse, and “has no longer sought true duty for the ones accountable.”
Neither the NFL nor Snyder’s legal team immediately responded to messages seeking comment.
The Commanders’ legal counsel, John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, said in a statement the committee’s work was “one-sided” and there were “no new revelations” in Thursday’s report.
“And, ironically for an ‘investigative’ body, supposedly engaged in an ‘investigation,’ the investigators actually criticize the team and Mr Snyder for providing evidence to the Committee – such as emails former team employees sent from their workplace accounts – that reveal the actual causes of the formerly dysfunctional workplace environment at the team,” the statement said.
The legal counsel said the team is “happy with the growth it has made in recent times in setting up a welcoming and inclusive administrative center, and it seems to be ahead to long run good fortune, each off and on the sphere.”
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represented more than 40 ex-Commander’s employees, said in a statement on Thursday that the “committee’s paintings led to necessary law restricting using non-disclosure agreements, which is able to lend a hand save you this sort of standard harassment from going down in different American offices.”
The House committee opened its investigation after the NFL did not release a written report of attorney Beth Wilkinson’s review of the team’s workplace culture in the summer of 2021 that resulted in a $10m fine. That was prompted by several former employees saying they were sexually harassed while working for the team.
Republicans have said they would immediately drop the case once they take control of the House in early 2023. Kentucky Republican James Comer, a ranking member of the House oversight committee, reiterated that desire in a statement on Thursday, saying the investigation was meant to “ gain cheap headlines and ignore any information that did not align with [Democrats’] predetermined narrative.”
“As I’ve said from the beginning, the oversight committee is not the appropriate venue for this review and this effort is a misuse of resources,” Comer said.
Snyder and wife Tanya recently hired Bank of America Securities to explore selling part or all of the team he has owned since 1999. The Commanders are worth an estimated $5.6bn, according to Forbes a sevenfold increase over the then-record $800m Snyder paid for the team in 1999.
Last month the crew settled with the state of Maryland, agreeing to go back safety deposits to former season price ticket holders and pay a $250,000 penalty. A couple of days previous, the District of Columbia sued the Commanders in civil court docket over what it referred to as a scheme to cheat season-ticket holders out of cash.