As if the NFL didn’t already have enough problems, it is now going to have to babysit the Washington Football Team (WFT). After a new round of accusations surfaced regarding sexual harassment and misconduct – some of which is aimed squarely at owner Dan Snyder – there is concern that the league isn’t doing enough.
It might have to sing a different tune soon, though, as lawyers demand that the NFL take immediate action against Snyder after the league had said previously that it wanted to wait for the team to complete its own investigation. The NFL has neglected taking this situation more seriously, and its approach doesn’t mirror its own policies regarding misconduct.
Accusations Have Snyder & WFT On The Ropes
This is yet another bombshell for the team everyone used to know as the Redskins. Its reputation started going downhill after the first sexual misconduct report surfaced, and a new report isn’t helping smooth things out. The Washington Post revealed alleged widespread sexual abuse accusations by the team, even going so far as to throw Snyder’s name into the mix. Now, lawyers are representing aggravated clients who are asking the league to move against the team right away.
NBC Sports Washington was able to get a copy of the letter attorney Lisa Banks sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In it, she explains, “We represent over 12 former employees of the [WFT] who worked in different roles during different periods, but all of whom share a similar experience: they and the many more who have contacted us in the last two days were each subjected to sexism, sexual harassment and abuse at the highest levels of the organization, including by owner Daniel Snyder.” This is quite a sensitive topic because it affects the integrity of many women who were victims of these horrendous acts.
The attorney adds, “We are writing on behalf of our clients to request that you take immediate action against Mr. Snyder and the [WFT], whose misconduct has long been known by the league, its fans and the public at large, but who for decades has escaped accountability.”
The WFT is at risk due to these accusations, especially Snyder. He could once again find himself being asked to give up control of the franchise, or he could be expelled from the NFL and suffer a lifetime ban. Snyder has said, in response to all the bad publicity, that he should be more proactive in managing the franchise than he has been in the past, but few people believe he wasn’t aware of what was going on.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reacted to this ongoing issue, and he said in a statement on Thursday that he would wait for the result of an investigation conducted by the WFT before moving forward. However, he could very quickly find himself in a position to take action and not wait for the results of an investigation that will most likely not be completely there.
Some people have trust issues with the validity of the ongoing investigation because the law firm in charge has been hired by the same team. Goodell emphasized he believed the contracted attorneys were able to handle the job professionally and deal with any disciplinary action or additional aspects they might come across for the actual decision of the inquiries in question. Goodell cannot guarantee that the investigation won’t be biased, but at least he can monitor how this is being handled.
However, for Banks and her clients, this is unsatisfactory. She added in the letter, “We call on the NFL to immediately initiate its own independent investigation of the Washington Football Team, and suspend Daniel Snyder pending the outcome of that investigation.” The attorney openly distrusts the investigation in progress, and she believes that it could be manipulated to favor the Washington.
Snyder rejects some of these accusations reported by the Washington Post. He defends himself and calls this unpleasant situation a “hit job.” In the beginning, the allegations of sexual misconduct pointed out other guys as perpetrators of the offenses, but not him directly. Now, the accusations also include him as an offender. Those who had allegedly been involved are no longer with the team; however, only an independent investigation can get to the truth.