Daniel Snyder is committed to changing the culture within his Washington football team.
Snyder said as much in statement Friday, one day after The Washington Post reported that 15 women who once worked for the NFL team said they were sexually harassed during their tenures with the club. The allegations, which span from 2006 through 2019, primarily include inappropriate sexual comments, unwelcome overtures and pressure to wear revealing clothing.
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” team owner Snyder said Friday morning in a statement. “This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.”
On Thursday, the team hired noted D.C.-based attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the club’s internal culture amid allegations of workplace misconduct.
“Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations,” Snyder said. “Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all.”
The NFL issued a statement about the allegations on Friday.
“The matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment,” the statement read.
“Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings.”
Among those accused of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, per The Post, are former longtime radio announcer Larry Michael, former director of pro personnel Alex Santos, former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann, former president of business operations Dennis Greene and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman. Michael abruptly announced his retirement on Wednesday, and Santos and Mann were fired earlier this week after tenures of more than 10 years with the team.
The report said Snyder was not accused of misconduct with women, although several former employees said the team’s small human resources department and overall culture fostered an environment in which misconduct was not punished. Snyder was accused of belittling top executives, including mocking Greene for his time as a male cheerleader in college.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)