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Lawyers for more than a dozen former WFT employees call for independent investigation of Dan Snyder; 4 former cheerleaders suing over reported video

More legal problems for Dan Snyder

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Two more stories dropped today in the ongoing story of workplace misconduct, sexual harassment, and a scandal involving the videotaping of cheerleaders. The first story has four former Washington Football Team cheerleaders who have hired attorney Gloria Allred to represent them. In the Washington Post story that was published yesterday, a video that was allegedly made at the direction of former Washington VP Larry Micheal and intended for owner Dan Snyder was disclosed for the first time. The video was allegedly made from footage taken during a calender shoot in 2008, and included clips of cheerleaders nipples and private parts. These accusations have been denied by at least three people who were named in the article, but the Post says they have a copy of the video. Dan Snyder called the article a hit job, and responded in typical Dan Snyder fashion, which was followed up by a more rational statement from the team.

Allred wants to view the video the Washington Post has, and is also investigating everyone involved in the incident.

“Secondly, we have to find out who’s responsible,” she said. “Third, these women have been harmed and we believe we can prove it. And fourth, the best way is to hold whoever’s responsible accountable in whatever manner is appropriate, and that’s what we’re going to do. Accountability is what it’s all about.”

“This is the era of the Me Too movement and these women are just not going to sit back and just be victims,” she said. “They’re going to be fighters for change. They don’t want this to happen to any other young woman, ever.”

The second story comes from the Washington Post, and involves more than a dozen former WFT employees who have hired lawyers to call for an independent investigation from the NFL and Dan Snyder’s suspension until the probe is concluded. When the Washington Posts original story on sexual harrassment and workplace misconduct was published on July 16th, the organization fired two top executives named in the story, and Larry Michael retired before its release. The team also announced that they had hired high-powered attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct an independent review of the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct. Roger Goodell indicated in his statement about the newest scandal that the NFL had recommended Wilkinson for the investigation.

This is not good enough in the light of more accusations against the organization.

In their letter, Banks and Katz call Goodell’s action “too little and too late,” writing that it fails to reflect the seriousness of the allegations, “which we now know include the production of a highly sexualized and exploitative video that could lead to civil or criminal liability for those responsible.”

They state that their clients would gladly participate in an NFL investigation but don’t feel safe speaking to investigators hired by Snyder and don’t trust that process.

“Indeed, our clients live in fear of further retaliation by Mr. Snyder, as he has repeatedly demonstrated his propensity to weaponize the legal system to punish accusers and intimidate others from coming forward,” the lawyers wrote.

The lawyers are also calling for Snyder to release female former employees from their NDAs.

“The time is long overdue for the NFL to police this type of behavior and to act decisively to penalize those in its ranks, like Daniel Snyder, who allow women to be repeatedly exploited and mistreated as a prerogative of being a rich and powerful NFL team owner.”

The pressure is higher on Dan Snyder to sell the team now, than it has ever been since he bought the team and ran it like drunken 13 year old. He is at war with the 3 minority owners who have been with him for years. He has relented on changing the team’s name after famously saying he would NEVER change it, thanks in part to pressure from minority owner Frederick Smith’s FedEx. More and more former employees are speaking out against the last two decades of toxic culture that has existed within the franchise. Roger Goodell has been issuing statements about the various fires within the franchise seemingly every other week.

The only way to force Dan Snyder to sell is for the other 31 NFL owners to make it happen because he is engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league. It still seems like a small possibility based on the latest accusations. If it is proved that Dan Snyder personally directed Larry Michael to make the video, then the conversation completely changes. But we are not there yet.