District of Columbia Attorney General says his office is filing civil consumer protection lawsuit against himOwner Dan Snyder, NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Attorney General Carl Racine announced the civil complaint at a news conference Thursday, saying that Snyder, Goodell, the team and the league colluded to deceive DC residents about investigating the organization’s workplace culture.
“Over the years, the team and its owner have caused very real and very serious damage and then lied about it to dodge accountability,” Racine said, adding that Goodell and the NFL misled the public. “They did it all to hide the truth, protect their images, and keep the profits rolling.”
Racine said the team and league violated DC consumers’ rights based on what they knew about the organization’s workplace misconduct, with Snyder accusing Snyder of lying about his knowledge of the situation.
four posters Racine outlined some of the history of the team’s rebranding efforts during his announcement, including references to DC and its flag, and the history of the NFL’s investigation into the organization’s workplace culture.
One poster reads, “Dan Snyder assures fans that he will fully cooperate with the investigation and the results can be trusted.” “It was a lie: He repeatedly attempted to intervene, and fans couldn’t trust the results that were never made public. Because Snyder had a veto.”
The findings of the Beth Wilkinson investigation were not released in July 2021 when the league fined the team $10 million for toxic workplace culture. The final poster read: “Fan outrage intensified when it became clear Snyder lied to them: There would be no transparency and no calculation. This affected consumer spending decisions.”
Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, said the civil complaint is “further evidence of what we have known for a long time: that both Commander and the NFL engaged in deception and that the team had been deceived.” There are lies designed to hide. Decades of sexual harassment and abuse that have affected not only the victims of that abuse, but also consumers in the District of Columbia.”
He further added, “The filing of this complaint is an important step in validating the experiences of those brave women and men and in achieving for the first time the level of transparency in the scope of misconduct.”
The team is being investigated on multiple fronts, including the attorney generals of DC and Virginia, Congress and the league. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said last week that the league’s review of former US Attorney Mary Jo White was ongoing and there was no timetable for when it would be completed.
“We will issue summons,” Racine said. “We will seek testimony under oath.”
Racine took a shot at Snyder’s virtual statement with the US House Committee for Oversight and Reform, saying the statement was “likely not on a yacht but in a conference room in the District of Columbia.”
Messages sent to the team and league office seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Snyders announced last week that he has hired Bank of America Securities to look after, A spokesman for the team said they are “exploring all options” with respect to the organization, which is valued at $5.6 billion by Forbes.