Sat. Jun 25th, 2022

House lawmakers urge NFL commissioner to release results of Washington Commanders investigation

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Democratic House lawmakers on Thursday urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to release the results of an investigation into the Washington Commanders’ “hostile workplace culture.” 

The lawmakers, who represent the D.C. metro area, said their constituents “were primarily impacted by the toxic work environment perpetrated by the Commanders and as such, deserve the transparency from the National Football League (NFL) to share the findings of the internal review.” 

Team co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, former player Joe Theismann, and current player Jonathan Allen unveil the new team uniforms during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022, in Landover, Maryland.

Team co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder, former player Joe Theismann, and current player Jonathan Allen unveil the new team uniforms during the announcement of the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022, in Landover, Maryland.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Congress launched an investigation into the team’s workplace culture after an independent review overseen by the league prompted a $10 million fine but did not include a written report to be released to the public.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has accepted the invitation to testify June 22 and informed the committee on Wednesday that he will appear virtually, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

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The NFL said in February it had hired an investigator to lead the probe into alleged sexual harassment allegations against Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder. 

Former employees of Washington first complained about sexual harassment by team executives back in 2020, and the team hired attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm to investigate. The league ended up taking over that probe, and Wilkinson reported her findings to Goodell.

A lawyer representing Snyder told Congress that Snyder will not testify at next week’s hearing, citing a lack of assurance about the scope of questioning given the existence of multiple ongoing investigations and a scheduling conflict preventing Snyder from appearing in person.  

FILE: Dan Snyder, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.

FILE: Dan Snyder, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team’s new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

House lawmakers said the NFL failed to request a written report from Wilkinson and “have since refused to release detailed findings of her investigation because of the alleged ‘sensitivity of the allegations.’” 

“It is clear from their portrayals, that the pervasive workplace misconduct has left sizable impacts on those who suffered from it over the last several years,” the lawmakers said, noting they were “extremely disappointed” Snyder declined to testify at next week’s hearing. 

“We encourage the NFL and the Washington Commanders to do the right thing ahead of the June hearing and release the report,” they said. “There is an opportunity for the NFL and the Commanders to lead by example, not by attempting to silence victims, but by ensuring this type of rampant abuse is not tolerated going forward.” 

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The letter was signed by Reps. Donald S. Beyer, Gerald E. Connolly and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, Eleanor Holmes Norton of D.C., and Anthony G. Brown and Jamie Raskin of Maryland. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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