owner of the Washington CommandersThat intervened in an investigation led by the NFL of allegations by former employees that sexual harassment was rampant by team executives, according to a new report published Thursday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
The report also said that Snyder tried to obstruct a separate House committee investigation by “intimidating witnesses and withholding the production of documents”. The report accused him of being evasive and misleading, noting that he said he did not remember things more than 100 times when testifying to the committee.
The report said commanders created a “toxic work culture” for more than two decades by “ignoring and downplaying” sexual misconduct by men at the top levels of the organization.
The report accused Snyder of engaging in misconduct, stating that he inappropriately touched a former employee at dinner, ordered employees to make a video of “sexually suggestive footage of the cheerleaders”, and women who were auditioning to be cheerleaders in the arena “while she and her friends stared from their suite through binoculars.”
The NFL hasn’t been shielded from criticism in the report, which says the league “misled the public about its handling of the Wilkinson investigation,” “continued to downplay workplace misconduct across the league,” “from sexual harassment and abuse has not protected workers,” and “has not sought true accountability for those responsible.” Attorney Beth Wilkinson was initially hired by commanders to investigate workplace practices, several employees said when He was sexually assaulted while working for the team. His stories surfaced in a July 2020 Washington Post report alleging decades of harassment and bullying inside the Commanders’ organization. His investigation was later investigated by the NFL. Took it in hand.
The House committee began its investigation after the NFL did not release a written report of Wilkinson’s review of the team’s workplace culture in the summer of 2021, which resulted in a $10 million fine.
Neither the NFL nor Snyder’s legal team immediately responded to messages seeking comment.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represented more than 40 ex-Commander employees, said in a statement Thursday that “the committee’s work resulted in significant legislation limiting the use of nondisclosure agreements, which will help prevent widespread harassment from occurring in other American workplaces.”
Republicans have said they will immediately take up the matter once they take control of the House early next year.
Snyder and his wife Tanya recently hired Bank of America Securities to explore selling the portion of the entire team they have owned since 1999. According to Forbes, the Commanders are worth an estimated $5.6 billion—a sevenfold increase from the then-record $800 million Snyder paid for the team in 1999.
Just last month, the team also settled with the state of Maryland, agreeing to return security deposits to prior season ticket holders and pay a $250,000 fine.