The congressional committee investigating the Washington Commanders’ workplace culture and the NFL’s handling of misconduct allegations wants the head of the NFL and the team owner to testify.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder on Wednesday requesting they appear at a hearing on June 22.
“Since we launched our investigation in October, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, to hold accountable those responsible, and to better protect workers across the country,” Maloney said in a statement.
She added that efforts to get “critical information” have been “met with obstruction from the Commanders and the NFL at every turn.”
“We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months. The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again,” Maloney said.
Krishnamoorthi said the committee has been “stonewalled by NDAs and other tools to evade accountability” for seven months.
“Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues,” he said.
The attorneys representing more than 40 former Commanders employees, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, released a statement on the committee’s letters.
“We are pleased the House Oversight Committee has invited Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell to testify in front of the Committee. We hope they will demonstrate the same courage as our clients and agree to testify. Dan Snyder and Roger Goodell have a lot to answer for,” the statement said.
A spokesman for the NFL said the league got the committee’s invitation Wednesday morning “and will respond directly in a timely manner.”
“The NFL has cooperated extensively throughout the Committee’s lengthy investigation of the Washington Commanders, including by producing more than 460,000 pages of documents and responding to numerous questions in writing and in conversations with the Committee’s staff,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
The Commanders told WTOP in a statement that they “have assisted the NFL in cooperating with all prior requests from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. We look forward to responding directly to the Committee’s invitation in a timely manner.”
Back in April, the committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission saying the Commanders engaged in potentially unlawful financial conduct. At the time, the NFL said it plans to look into the most serious allegations.
The committee said it found evidence of deceptive business practice over the span of more than a decade, including withholding ticket revenue from visiting teams and refundable deposits from fans.
In the letter obtained by The Associated Press, the committee outlined through the testimony of former employees and access to emails and documents a pattern of financial impropriety by owner Dan Snyder and team executives. At one point in 2016, the committee said the team retained up to $5 million from 2,000 season-ticket holders while also concealing sharable revenue from the league.
An NFL spokesman said the league has engaged former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White “to review the most serious matters raised by the committee.” White chaired the SEC from 2013-17.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.