The working atmosphere inside the Washington’s NFL franchise, now called the Commanders, is better without team co-owner Dan Snyder in charge of day-to-day operations, according to a third-party audit obtained by online outlet Axios.
At recommendation of the review conducted by independent counsel Beth Wilkinson into the workplace culture at the team, the club has semiannual reporting obligations to the NFL.
The most recent report delivered in January and shared with House Oversight Committee reviewing allegations made by former team employees of sexual harassment, intimidation and other misconduct, indicates progress is being made.
“What you really learned from this audit is that things do seem to be going in the right direction inside the team,” said Dan Primack, business editor for Axios. “Particularly when it comes to issues such as how employees report potential misconduct and then what happens after that misconduct is reported.”
The Wilkinson report instructed Washington to improve its human resources practices and Axios notes the most recent audit shows the club is investigating allegations of misconduct seriously.
The audit cites examples including a contractor dropped for using an anti-Asian slur and a male dance team member fired after he allegedly made inappropriate comments to female dance team members.
Wilkinson’s investigation into the Washington team started in July of 2020 and a month later, Jason Wright became the team’s president.
“The report does talk a lot about the change in personnel, I will note it distinctly ignores the fact that the owner is the same,” said Primack. “But it does talk a lot about individuals up and down the food chain; particularly the higher levels are largely new people and details some specific steps they have taken to make progress.”
Dan Snyder is still an owner, but he stepped away last July from day-to-day operations and replaced himself with his wife and co-owner Tanya.
The audit really does not address Dan Snyder explicitly, Primack said, but its timeline of an improved workplace coincides with his absence in charge on a daily basis.
“The NFL basically took day-to-day control away from Daniel Snyder because there were problems,” said Primack. “And now that he has gone, those problems have been largely resolved based on this audit.”
“There’s no particular reason to think that Roger Goodell and the NFL would let Daniel Snyder resume control day-to-day operations, which is something he would need permission to do and which my understanding is he has not yet asked to do.”
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