Daniel Snyder, the owner of Washington’s football team since 1999, released a statement Friday morning related to the allegations of workplace misconduct made against staff members in a Washington Post story on Thursday.
Though a number of the franchise’s executives were accused of sexual harassment by female employees, there are no allegations of misconduct against Snyder himself.
Fifteen women who worked for the team from 2015 to 2019 told The Washington Post they had to deal with sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former scouts and members of Snyder’s inner circle. Three of the men named in the article recently left the team.
Attorney Beth Wilkinson of D.C. law firm Wilkinson and Walsh has been hired by the team to conduct an independent review of the organization’s protocols, including its culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.
Snyder released the following statement on Friday morning:
The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society.
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 Rivera earlier this year.
Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations. 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.
Director of player personnel Alex Santos, assistant Richard Mann II, and longtime broadcaster and senior vice president Larry Michael are no longer with the team. Michael announced Wednesday he was retiring after 16 years.
Santos, Mann, Michael and former business executives Dennis Greene and Mitch Gershman were mentioned in the Post story.
Head coach Ron Rivera, who was just hired in January, reacted to the Post story in a statement: “Biggest thing is that we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open-door policy with no retribution. Plus, my daughter works for the team, and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!
“Dan Snyder brought me here to change culture & create an environment of inclusion among employees. I believe everyone that works for this franchise has a vested interest in our success.”
NFL announced the league will wait until an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct made against the franchise is complete before determining whether it should be penalized.
The league statement, obtained by WTOP, said:
These 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. 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.
The Carolina Panthers had a similar internal probe back in 2017. Then-owner Jerry Richardson was fined by the NFL after claims he used sexually suggestive language and racial slurs were substantiated. Richardson then sold the team.