The Washington Post published another article yesterday chronicling the investigation into the Washington Football Team’s workplace environment. The stories of Dan Snyder's attempts to hinder the investigation through lawsuits, bribes, and intimidation have been out there for months, but the Post added a lot more detail to paint the picture of a man obsessed with making this story go away, and making people who have wronged him pay.
Beth Wilkinson was hired by Snyder to look into the accusations against the organization. This was immediately called out as a terrible idea at best, and the NFL took over the investigation. Once Wilkinson was no longer his personal attorney, Snyder started suing to impede the process and hired private investigators to “interview” the accusers. When she was hired, the company line was complete transparency, but that went out the window when the deck wasn’t completely stacked. With the NFL in charge it was only 99% stacked.
Wilkerson finally completed her investigation into the workplace violations that have been happening for over two decades, but the league didn’t want a written report that would contain potentially sensitive information. Instead they opted for an oral report, and based their decision on that. The Washington Football Team was fined $10 million and Dan Snyder was “suspended”. Tanya Snyder was named co-CEO of the franchise and would run the day-to-day operations while Dan focused on the new stadium and “other matters”.
Snyder has filed lawsuits against multiple people he thought worked with former minority owner Dwight Schar, including former Washington GM Scot McCloughan’s wife, and former GM Bruce Allen. He also tried to withhold money owed to Allen until he got a text from him congratulating Snyder for the hire of Ron Rivera. Snyder never got that text according to the Post, but Allen did receive his payment.
Dwight Schar and the other two minority owners were bought out with a loan from the NFL after their attempted coup failed. The financial pressure placed on Washington did eventually lead to the team's name being changed from the Redskins to the Football Team, a temporary placeholder until the new name is announced next year.
Congress got involved after the NFL's investigation didn't produce a written report, and only resulted in a slap on the wrist for Snyder and the organization. Roger Goodell claimed the league would cooperate and provide the requested information from the Wilkinson investigation, but that hasn't happened. Now that another story has come out putting a blazing hot spotlight on Snyder's actions, they are demanding that the NFL immediately provide the evidence they requested.
This statement follows new reporting about Snyder’s efforts to obstruct an internal investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson into allegations of wrongdoing within the Washington Football Team.— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) December 15, 2021
Chairs Maloney and Krishnamoorthi Call on NFL to Produce Information on WFT Owner Dan Snyder’s Interference in Internal Investigation
Dec 14, 2021 Press Release
New Reporting Details Efforts by Snyder to Obstruct Investigators, Silence Witnesses
Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, called on the National Football League to immediately produce to the Committee all evidence of WFT owner Dan Snyder’s interference in the NFL’s investigation into the WFT’s hostile workplace culture. This statement follows new reporting about Snyder’s efforts to obstruct an internal investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson into allegations of wrongdoing within the Washington Football Team.
“It has become clear that Dan Snyder’s words and actions regarding the investigation into the Washington Football Team do not align,” Chairwoman Maloney said. “While Mr. Snyder publicly stated that he wanted independent investigators to ferret out the truth, today’s reporting suggests that he was privately trying to obstruct the efforts of the very investigator he hired in an effort to conceal damaging information. These disturbing revelations have only strengthened the Committee’s commitment to uncovering the truth in this matter. The NFL must honor Commissioner Goodell’s promise to cooperate with Congress and fully comply with the Committee’s request for documents.”
“Today’s news confirms our worst fears: Dan Snyder actively fought to undermine NFL’s investigation into WFT’s hostile workplace culture,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi said. “According to this reporting, not only did he try to prevent a key fact witness—a woman he paid $1.6 million in a sexual misconduct settlement—from speaking with investigators, he went as far as to send private investigator to witnesses’ homes. Snyder will stop at nothing. To get to the bottom of this story, NFL must immediately turn over all evidence of Snyder’s interference and the other documents we requested over a month ago.”
On October 21, 2021, the Chairs sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and launched an investigation into the WFT’s workplace culture and how the NFL responded when it uncovered issues of harassment and discrimination within the organization.
The letter followed the NFL’s July 1 announcement on the outcome of the WFT investigation conducted by an outside law firm. The announcement described vague and conclusory findings, including that “the workplace environment... particularly for women, was highly unprofessional,” that “[b]ullying and intimidation frequently took place,” and that “senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves.” Unlike past investigations into potential misconduct, the NFL did not disclose the full results of the investigation.
On November 5, 2021, the Chairs released a statement calling on NFL and WFT to release all individuals from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about Dan Snyder and the WFT’s toxic work environment.