By Arthur Cribbs/The Sports Pulse Contributor
Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr.
Following the release of a Washington Post report alleging 15 women reported cases of sexual harassment and verbal abuse while working for the Washington Redskins, the team’s owner said Friday it would work with an outside entity to conduct an independent investigation on the franchise.
Dan Snyder said in a statement that he condemned behavior detailed in the article and called for an improvement in the team’s culture.
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said.
Snyder said D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP would lead “a full, unbiased investigation” in examining the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.
“Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but, most importantly, create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all,” Snyder said.
In changing the team’s culture, Snyder alluded to the hiring of head coach Ron Rivera earlier this year, who also shared sentiment of creating a new environment.
“Biggest thing is that we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open-door policy with no retribution,” said Rivera in a separate statement.
Additionally, the NFL said in a statement that it intends to examine further Wilkinson’s investigation on the organization and its practices.
The Washington Post reported that Emily Applegate, along with 14 anonymous women who previously worked for the Redskins faced multiple instances of misconduct spanning from 2006 to 2019 from fellow employees, including sexual and disparaging comments, physical harassment and beratement.
The article revealed text messages from staff members displaying harassment and detailed the organization’s lack of action to prevent the issue of misconduct from reoccurring.
While he was not among the accused, witnesses say Snyder was as responsible by many for the lack of human resources staff to address sexual harassment and verbal abuse cases.
Alex Santos, the Redskins former director of pro personnel and Richard Mann II, the team’s former assistant director of pro personnel, allegedly committed multiple transgressions. They were fired by the club last weekend.
Larry Michael, the team’s long-time senior vice president for content and radio play-by-play announcer, was also named in the story for multiple comments he made towards his female co-workers. He unexpectedly retired the day before the report was released.
Former COO Mitch Gershman and former president of business operations Dennis Greene were also named in the story. Gershman left the team in 2015, and Greene left in 2018