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ESPN’s Jeff Darlington critical of Redskins leadership

On TV this week, ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington was asked for his reaction to the recent Washington Post story that detailed allegations of sexual harassment against female employees and reporters in the Redskins workplace based on his experience of covering the team.

Darlington spoke of his long experience reporting on all 32 teams in the league, and began by clarifying that he wasn’t able to personally speak to the allegations of sexual harassment of women, but went on to discuss the leadership of the franchise. At one point, Darlington said that it was “certainly not going to come as a surprise to many people who cover the organization; whether it’s local media or lower level members of the organization, they simply have not been treated well for years in that building, and unless something is changed by Dan Snyder, that will continue to happen.”

Darlington was certainly not pulling any punches, as his entire report focused on owner Dan Snyder and his personal style of leadership.

What I can tell you, having spent so much time around the organization and also having visited all 31 other teams numerous times, is that there is really no place in the league like that organization when it comes to the “class system” that exists. There is Dan Snyder and his inner circle, and there’s everybody else.

Darlington insists that this is not his lone view.

This is a widely held feeling about the organization, that if you are not in that inner circle, you are generally not treated all that well.

Darlington offers high praise for new head coach and face of the franchise, Ron Rivera, but cautions that any improvements are contingent on the owner and his willingness to change the habits of the past two decades.

Ron Rivera’s coming in there; he’s one of the most respected people in the NFL. Bruce Allen is no longer a part of the organization. But Dan Snyder remains the owner. This is something that is worth monitoring, to see if, just because he has made changes when it comes to Ron Rivera, if he, himself, is willing to also make changes across the organization.

All in all, this was a pretty grim assessment by Jeff Darlington, but certainly nothing new to Redskins fans.