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House Oversight Committee calls on Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder to answer questions they have dodged for 7 months

More questions for Goodell and Snyder

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform continues their investigation into Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders. This started with accusations of a toxic workplace that included sexual harassment, taking and distributing nude pictures of cheerleaders, and other offenses. The NFL’s own investigation was basically squashed when Commissioner Roger Goodell requested an oral report only from Beth Wilkinson, and then gave Snyder and the team slaps on the wrist. Snyder left day-to-day operations to his wife, but had free reign in every aspect of the franchise. The team was fined $10 million and started several changes to diversify and clean up the workplace.

This punishment was not the transparent outcome that was promised by Snyder and the team, and led to Congress getting involved. In a roundtable in front of the Committee new allegations were disclosed that directly implicated Dan Snyder for sexual harassment. Financial improprieties were also brought to the Committee’s attention, all of which were quickly denied by team attorneys. The Committee also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission concerning the financial allegations, and investigations are ongoing in several states. The accusation that got the most attention, and gave fans the most hope of Snyder being ousted, was that he was withholding money from ticket sales that gets shared with other owners.

Today’s letter from the Committee requests that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder appear at a June 22nd.

“The hearing is the next step in the Committee’s months-long investigation into the Commanders’ hostile workplace culture and will also examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces.”

Hearing Will Also Examine the NFL’s Response and the Need for Legislative Reform

Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2022)— 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, sent letters to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), and Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders, requesting they appear before the Committee at a hearing on June 22, 2022. The hearing is the next step in the Committee’s months-long investigation into the Commanders’ hostile workplace culture and will also examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces.

“Since we launched our investigation in October, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, to hold accountable those responsible, and to better protect workers across the country,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “The Committee has worked tirelessly to obtain critical information, including the findings of the internal investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, only to be met with obstruction from the Commanders and the NFL at every turn. We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months. The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again.”

“For seven months, the Committee has been stonewalled by NDAs and other tools to evade accountability,” said Chairman Krishnamoorthi. “Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues.”

On October 21, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting all documents related to the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, including her investigative findings.

On November 5, 2021, the Chairs released a statement calling on the NFL and the Commanders to release all individuals from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about Daniel Snyder and the Commanders’ toxic work environment. The Chairs issued another statement in December 2021 following a report that detailed Mr. Snyder’s efforts to obstruct the internal investigation.

On February 3, 2022, the Committee held a roundtable with several former Washington Commanders’ employees who detailed widespread sexual harassment, abuse, and other workplace misconduct by top executives, including team owner Daniel Snyder, and explained that the League failed to address these issues. At the roundtable, Tiffani Johnston detailed sexual advances made by Mr. Snyder’s at a team dinner. Following the Committee’s roundtable, the NFL opened a new investigation into Mr. Snyder’s conduct, as well as financial improprieties brought to light by the Committee’s investigation.

On February 4, 2022, the Committee released documents, including a Common Interest Agreement signed by the NFL and the Commanders, and an engagement letter between the Commanders and Ms. Wilkinson’s law firm, which raised questions about the NFL’s purported commitment to independence and transparency in addressing workplace misconduct at the Commanders.

On April 12, 2022, the Committee sent the Federal Trade Commission troubling evidence of potential financial misconduct by the Washington Commanders, which the Committee obtained in the course of its investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and the NFL’s response. Following the Committee’s letter, attorneys general in Virginia and the District of Columbia announced investigations into the team’s conduct.