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Dozens of Washington Commanders employees hurt by ‘toxic work culture’ over 2 decades, House Oversight Committee finds

Dozens of staff of the Washington Commanders had been harmed for greater than twenty years due to a “poisonous work tradition” by which sexual harassment and bullying had been pervasive, based on a scathing report launched Thursday by the Home Oversight Committee.

The title of the report is “Conduct Detrimental: How the NFL and the Washington Commanders Lined Up A long time of Sexual Misconduct.”

“The outcomes of the Committee’s investigation, as specified by this report, are clear: sexual harassment, bullying, and different poisonous conduct pervaded the office on the Washington Commanders and had been perpetuated by a tradition of worry instilled by the Crew’s proprietor” Daniel Snyder, the report mentioned.

The report mentions legal professional Beth Wilkinson, who Snyder initially commissioned to research the staff’s office setting, a probe which was later taken over by the NFL.

“The NFL, by means of the investigation carried out by Ms. Wilkinson, was conscious that Mr. Snyder and different Crew executives not solely did not cease this misconduct however engaged in it themselves. The League additionally knew that Mr. Snyder and the Commanders group used a wide range of techniques to intimidate, surveil, and repay whistleblowers and to affect and impede Ms. Wilkinson’s work. Fairly than search actual accountability, the NFL aligned its authorized pursuits with Mr. Snyder’s, did not curtail his abusive techniques, and buried the investigation’s findings. The Committee’s investigation demonstrates the pressing want for office reform,” the report mentioned.

The NFL and Washington Commanders weren’t instantly reached for remark Thursday afternoon.

The committee launched the investigation in October 2021 after the NFL did not launch detailed findings from Wilkinson’s investigation, the report mentioned.

Over 12 months, the committee carried out interviews and depositions, held a roundtable with former staff who skilled sexual harassment and assault whereas working for the Commanders, and convened a listening to at which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified, the report mentioned.

Snyder, who owned the staff over the two-decade span, based on the report, obstructed the committee’s investigation.

“Mr. Snyder was invited to testify at a public listening to however refused to look after which sought to keep away from service of a subpoena whereas overseas along with his yacht,” the report mentioned. “Mr. Snyder in the end sat for a personal deposition however failed to offer full and full testimony. Over the course of the deposition, he claimed greater than 100 instances that he couldn’t recall the solutions to the Committee’s questions, together with fundamental inquiries about his position as Crew proprietor and a number of allegations of misconduct. Mr. Snyder additionally gave deceptive testimony about his efforts to intervene with the Wilkinson Investigation.”

Snyder sexually harassed feminine subordinates for years and even had secret “delicate porn” movies product of cheerleaders, former staff instructed a congressional committee in February.

The allegations had been made by six former staff of the Washington, D.C., NFL franchise throughout a Home Oversight Committee roundtable on poisonous office tradition.

Former worker Tiffani Johnston made new allegations in opposition to Snyder on Thursday, saying he positioned his hand on her thigh with out her consent at a staff dinner and that he pushed her towards his limousine along with his hand on her decrease again.

“He left his hand on the center of my thigh till I bodily eliminated it,” Johnston mentioned.

Describing the incident outdoors Snyder’s limousine, she mentioned: “The one purpose Dan Snyder eliminated his hand from my again and stopped pushing me in direction of his limo was as a result of his legal professional intervened and mentioned, ‘Dan, Dan, it is a dangerous concept.’ … I discovered that I ought to take away myself from Dan’s grip whereas his legal professional was distracting him.”

Former advertising and marketing director Melanie Coburn and one-time video manufacturing supervisor Brad Baker each repeated the allegation that Snyder had secret movies made for him, known as “The Good Bits,” from footage taken at cheerleader shoots.

“We trusted the manufacturing staff to seize footage and hold it protected. Little did we all know, they had been zooming in on non-public components and holding cameras rolling throughout costume modifications,” Coburn instructed lawmakers in her ready remarks.

Representatives for the staff, renamed the Commanders launched a press release from Snyder on Thursday denying the allegations from the listening to.

“I’ve acknowledged and apologized a number of instances prior to now for the misconduct which happened on the Crew and the hurt suffered by a few of our valued staff,” Snyder mentioned. “I apologize once more in the present day for this conduct, and absolutely help the individuals who have been victimized and have come ahead to inform their tales.”

“Whereas previous conduct on the Crew was unacceptable, the allegations leveled in opposition to me personally in in the present day’s roundtable — a lot of that are effectively over 13 years previous — are outright lies,” he continued. “I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any individual.”  

Complaints concerning the staff’s therapy of feminine staff first surfaced in 2020. Snyder commissioned an investigation by legal professional Beth Wilkinson’s agency into the staff’s office setting that was taken over by the NFL.

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