Washington Commanders’ sexual misconduct scandal—What’s next for Dan Snyder

A report published on Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has alleged that the Washington Commanders created a “toxic work culture” for more than two decades.

Former female employees have said that top levels of the organization were “ignoring and downplaying sexual misconduct” and hundreds of instances of sexual harassment by men at the top levels of the Commanders were described.

Owner Dan Snyder was also accused in the report of inappropriately touching a former employee at a dinner and having staffers produce a video “of sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders.”

It was also alleged in the report that women auditioning to be cheerleaders had to walk on the field “while [Snyder] and his friends gawked from his suite through binoculars.”

Above, a Washington Commanders helmet rests on a table at a football stadium. The Commanders have been accused of not taking sexual misconduct allegations seriously.
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What has been alleged against the Washington Commanders?

The report is the conclusion of an investigation that began in October 2021 after the NFL didn’t release a report of its review of the workplace culture at the Commanders.

The review by attorney Beth Wilkinson was completed in the summer of 2021 for the NFL and resulted in a $10 million fine to the team.

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the House committee, said the congressional report “shows how one of the most powerful organizations in America, the NFL, mishandled pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct.”

Maloney added: “Our report tells the story of a team rife with sexual harassment and misconduct, a billionaire owner intent on deflecting blame and an influential organization that chose to cover this up rather than seek accountability and stand up for employees.”

What has been said about owner Dan Snyder?

Snyder has been singled out for some damning allegations, with many saying that he was complicit in making the workplace a “toxic culture.”

It has been alleged that the team owner looked to interfere with the investigation and was accused of “intimidating witnesses” and “refusing to release former employees from their confidentiality obligations.”

Some 40,000 documents were collected during the review carried out by Wilkinson, and Snyder was accused of using a “secret” agreement with the NFL to block access to them.

The House committee said that Snyder was “evasive” and “misleading” and alleged that the team owner also launched his own shadow investigation, which was used to “cast him as the victim of a defamation campaign…and deflect responsibility for the team’s toxic work culture.”

Dan Snyder
Dan Snyder, seen above, has been accused of helping a “toxic” workplace at the Washington Commanders in a damning report which has alleged sexual misconduct at the team.
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What has been said about the NFL?

The NFL was criticized by the report, which stated that it had “misled the public about its handling of the Wilkinson Investigation” and “has not sought true accountability for those responsible.”

The NFL does not require teams to report confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements and the league has not ensured “that its own workplaces are free from discrimination and harassment.”

What happens next for Dan Snyder?

There is still some uncertainty as to what the repercussions of the report will be for Dan Snyder, who has faced a fair amount of controversy over his 23-year ownership of the Washington franchise.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters in October that Snyder should be forced to sell the team, and there have been rumors over the past year that his fellow owners would like him gone, too. But this would not be an easy process, as a team owner has never been forced out in the league’s 102-year history.

Dan Snyder
Above, Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder watches warmups before a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys on September 19, 2005, in Irving, Texas.
Getty Images

Snyder has reportedly told his associates that he will do anything to defend his ownership of the franchise and if this causes “multiple casualties” then this will be the price.

Snyder has claimed that he has “dirt” on several NFL owners, the league office and commissioner Roger Goodell, ESPN reported, so he’s not frightened to aim below the belt to keep his hands on the Commanders.

It would take 24 owners to vote to remove Snyder from the league, a move that has never happened, and one that would likely bring on antitrust litigation.

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