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US lawmakers slam Washington Commanders, team’s owner, NFL over toxic work culture

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‘Our report tells the story of a team rife with sexual harassment and misconduct,’ says US House Oversight Committee./AFP
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Dec 09, 2022 - 02:28 AM

HOUSTON, US (AA) – The US House of Representatives Oversight Committee released a scathing report Thursday showing a toxic work culture of sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation by the Washington Commanders football team and owner Daniel Snyder.

“Our report tells the story of a team rife with sexual harassment and misconduct, a billionaire owner intent on deflecting blame, and an influential organization that chose to cover this up rather than seek accountability and stand up for employees,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The report also said that Snyder “permitted and participated in the workplace misconduct and engaged in tactics used to intimidate, surveil and pay off victims.” It also said the National Football League (NFL) “aligned its legal interests with the Commanders, failed to curtail these abusive tactics, and buried the investigation’s findings.”

Attorneys for the more than 40 former Washington Commanders’ employees released a statement regarding the report.

“Today, after a lengthy and wide-ranging investigation, the Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a comprehensive report that definitively details not only the extensive sexual harassment that occurred, but also owner Dan Snyder’s involvement in that sexual harassment and his efforts to obstruct the various investigations into that scandal,” said Lisa Banks and Debra Katz on behalf of their clients.

The Commanders also released a statement about the findings.

“Today’s report does not advance public knowledge of the Washington Commanders workplace in any way. The team is proud of the progress it has made in recent years in establishing a welcoming and inclusive workplace, and it looks forward to future success, both on and off the field,” said team attorneys John Brownlee and Stuart Nash.

As a result of the House investigation, evidence of potential financial wrongdoings was uncovered, leading Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine to file two civil lawsuits against Snyder and his team.

One alleges that the team and the NFL knowingly deceived D.C. consumers. The other centers around an alleged scheme to “cheat District ticket holders out of their deposits for season tickets.”

There is no clear indication as to how and when those lawsuits will be resolved.

Snyder has hired a bank to “explore potential transactions” involving the Commanders – a signal that he might be willing to sell all or part of the team.

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