NFL Fines Washington Football Team $10M

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On Thursday, the NFL announced that the Washington Football Team would pay a $10 million fine to the league, following a year-long investigation into the pervasive culture of sexual harassment perpetuated by the club’s managers and managers, owned by Daniel Snyder. The team must also reimburse the league for the cost of the investigation.

Snyder will distance himself from the club’s day-to-day business operations until at least mid-October, and will hand over that control to his wife and new co-general manager Tanya Snyder. However, Daniel Snyder will join the games and continue his search for a new team name and a new stadium. cloakroom Laight, A firm that is working with companies on misconduct currently held by the team will provide the league with updates on the team’s human resources practices for the next two years.

The league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, “concluded that for many years the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team was extremely unprofessional, both in general and for women in particular.” “Bullying and intimidation was frequent, with many describing the culture as a culture of fear, and many female employees reported experiencing workplace sexual harassment and a general lack of respect.”

Penalties are some of the harshest penalties ever imposed on an NFL team, culminating in an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment dating back to 2004 by men in the team’s front office. Beth Wilkinson, the Washington-based attorney who led the investigation, shared her findings. In an oral presentation that formed the basis of the league’s decision to punish the team.

“We are incredibly regretful and incredibly sorry, and we want everyone to be treated with dignity, respect and professionalism,” Daniel Snyder said in an interview Wednesday.

“It embarrasses me to think that this is happening in our building and our business,” added Tanya Snyder.

As part of Wilkinson’s investigation into crime reports detailed in various newspapers, approximately 150 current and former employees of the football club were interviewed. Washington Post articles also last year News in The New York Times in 2018 about the abuse of cheerleaders. In addition to several incidents of inappropriate treatment of female office workers and cheerleaders by men employed by the franchise, The Post reported that two women accused Snyder, 56, in separate harassment incidents from 2004. He denied these allegations.

Snyder also reached a financial settlement with a former female executive in 2009. accused him of sexual harassment during a trip by private jet. He denied any wrongdoing.

The NFL has not published a full account of the allegations, but only a brief summary of the team’s toxic internal culture, so it’s unclear how deep the dysfunction goes.

NFL Special Counsel for Investigations Lisa Friel said Wilkinson was not asked to verify the veracity of any allegations or to provide a written report of her findings to protect the anonymity of witnesses.

“We thought this was the best because of the sensitivity of the allegations and the demands for confidentiality,” Friel said, adding that a written report may have revealed the identity of some employees.

Snyder has admitted that he has been too lax in the management of the team for years, leaving most of the day-to-day running of the club to former team president Bruce Allen, who was sacked at the end of 2019 a decade later. Request.

“I commend people who are willing to fully implement all the recommendations that have come forward and come out of the investigation,” Daniel Snyder said on Thursday. Said.

Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 former team members, said Wilkinson’s investigation “confirmed our clients’ allegations of widespread harassment, misogyny and harassment.” They said the NFL protected Snyder by ignoring Wilkinson’s requests to make their findings public. The $10 million fine, they added, was a “pocket change amount” for the club.

“The NFL has effectively told survivors in this country and around the world that it doesn’t care about them or give credit to their experience,” the statement said. “Female fans and well-wishers everywhere, take note.”

The rampant allegations of harassment within the Washington franchise are deeply embarrassing for the league, which has built a reputation for not adequately scolding players, coaches, staff, and team owners who have been accused of harassing or assaulting women over the past two decades.

The team also decided leave your nickname and its logo last July, after years of criticism from people who saw it as a racial slur against Native Americans and threats from large corporations to end sponsorships. The team is reviewing new names and logos.

Last year, Snyder also publicly battled with three longtime shareholders. Board fights included duel lawsuits, smear campaign accusations, and bullying..

Months before the end of the investigation into the team’s leadership and the behavior of its employees, the league’s owners unanimously endorsed Snyder. Let him add $450 million in new debt so he could buy 40 percent of the team that he and his relatives didn’t have.

The fine imposed on the Washington franchise for failing to properly manage its staff is the first financial penalty to a team in a sexual harassment lawsuit since then. Jerry Richardson fined $2.75 million For making racist comments and sexually harassing female members of his staff while he was the owner of the Carolina Panthers. The league fined Richardson after reaching a deal to sell the team for $2.2 billion in 2018.

The NFL’s punishment of Snyder fell short of suspending him. Only a handful of owners were suspended, and often because they were personally charged with the crime. San Francisco 49ers’ Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. was suspended for one year and fined $1 million after pleading guilty to a felony charge by then-governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, for failing to report an alleged extortion attempt.

Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, suspended for six games and fined $500,000 after that admitted his guilt It was a misdemeanor for drunk driving after he was arrested after a traffic stop in 2014.

After the sexual harassment allegations became public last summer, Snyder fired nearly all front office managers. He tried to revive the club’s worn-out image by hiring new managers. Jason Wright, NFL’s first Black team president, and a few women. one mixed dance team will be held on game days instead cheerleading programwas overseen by one of the executives who was accused of sexual harassment and has since been fired.

Snyder said he would adopt the recommendations put forward by Wilkinson, which included the development of detailed protocols for “victims to report any misconduct anonymously and without fear of retaliation” and the implementation of regular anti-bullying, discrimination and harassment training seminars.

Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of the National Women’s Legal Center, said that none of the recommendations could accelerate change without publishing the findings of the investigation.

“There is no reason to impose a substantial fine without fully explaining why,” he said. “Without transparency, it’s hard to have meaningful accountability when allegations reach the very top of the organization.”

Kim Gandy, former CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and one-time league advisor, questioned whether $10 million was significant enough.

“The penalty represents only 2 percent of last year’s income and less than three-tenths of 1 percent of the team’s value,” he said.

In this week’s interview, Snyder said he and his wife were down to several dozen options for new names for the team, and a location for a new stadium would be chosen in about six months.

Despite scolding the Washington team, the league as a whole continues to grapple with allegations of harassment, not only in ownership circles, but also among players and coaches. “We will review our own policies and practices,” the league said in a statement Thursday.

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