Following an extensive investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and a “highly unprofessional” work environment, the National Football League has fined the Washington Football Team $10 million — reportedly the highest amount the organization has ever charged one of its teams.
According to an article published by Forbes, attorney Beth Wilkinson, who was initially hired by the co-owner and CEO of WFT, Dan Snyder, discovered that at least 15 former employees were bullied and intimidated regularly while working for the three-time Super Bowl-winning championship team, formally known as the Washington Redskins. The inquiry provided a detailed description of incidents in which female employees were forced to engage in sexual advancements and crude remarks by the team’s employees. The WFT cheerleaders also accused the group of secretly videotaping them while they were getting undressed; they later settled with the team. The allegations were first brought to light last summer in an article published by The Washington Post.
In a statement posted to the NFL Communication site, league commissioner Roger Goodell thanked Wilkinson and her team for their efforts. He continued, “Beth and her team performed their work in a highly professional and ethical manner. Most importantly, I want to thank the current and former employees who spoke to Beth and her team; they provided vital information that will help ensure that the workplace environment at the club continues to improve. It is incredibly difficult to relive painful memories. I am grateful to everyone who courageously came forward.”
Wilkinson’s interview, which ended in July 2020 but was later handed over to the NFL, consisted of an interview with 150 current or former WFT employees and found that ownership and senior management failed to address any of the complaints.
Synder ultimately took the blame in a statement released on Thursday, July 1. “I feel great remorse for the people who had difficult, even traumatic, experiences while working here,” Snyder said. “I’m truly sorry for that. I can’t turn back the clock, but I promise that nobody who works here will ever have that kind of experience again, at least not as long as Tanya and I are the owners of the team.” According to the NFL, the billionaire will reportedly step down from the day-to-day operations for “at least the next several months,” while his wife, Tanya Snyder, serves as the team’s CEO. All of the executives who engaged in these acts are also no longer with the organization.
Meanwhile, the team has agreed to new guidelines, including “new protocols for reporting harassment, a disciplinary action plan, and an expand and empower HR and legal,” just to name a few.