15 former female Redskins employees told Will Hobson and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post that they were sexually harassed during their tenure with the organization. This follows news from earlier today that the team had hired DC-based attorney Beth Wilkinson in anticipation of the story.
“The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously … While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly,” the team said in a statement.
14 of the women spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing litigation after signing nondisclosure agreements that prevented them from speaking negatively about the organization. The Redskins declined a request from the Washington Post to release those individuals from those agreements. Owner Dan Snyder also declined “several requests” for an interview.
Notably, three team employees have abruptly left the organization in recent weeks. Director of pro personnel Alex Santos and assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II were fired from their positions, while longtime radio personality Larry Michael left his position earlier this week.
As the article details, the allegations stem from 2006 to 2019, and the allegations include “unwelcome overtures or comments of a sexual nature, and exhortations to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients to close sales deals.” Among those accused of harassment are “three former members of Snyder’s inner circle and two longtime members of the personnel department.” Besides the aforementioned individuals, the Post identifies former president of business operations Dennis Greene and former COO Mitch Gershman as harassers.
While none of the women accused Snyder nor former team president Bruce Allen of harassment, the women “expressed skepticism the men were unaware of the behavior they allege.” The women also cited Snyder’s “understaffed human resources department” and a “sophomoric culture of verbal abuse among top executives.”
The article is filled with anecdotes, text messages, and internal company documents that seem to substantiate the claims. As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com notes, this certainly won’t be the end of the story. While Snyder refused to be interviewed for the Washington Post story, he can’t stay silent forever, and there will surely be increased calls for him to sell the team.