Following the release of a report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, more is known than ever about Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder and the role he played in perpetuating a toxic work culture within the franchise. The 97-page report has outlined for the public how Snyder “permitted and participated” in the Commanders’ toxic culture, including the obstruction and obfuscation of a congressional inquiry through evasion, witness intimidation, and remaining obtuse when questioned by the committee.
In addition to highlighting Snyder’s level of participation in disrupting the congressional inquiry regarding the toxic work culture, the report also indicated that the NFL, describing them as also sharing in the blame when it came to the subversion of the congressional inquiry. The chairperson of the committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney told ESPN, “We saw efforts that we have never seen before, at least I haven’t. The NFL knew about it, and they took know responsibility.” Maloney’s went on to characterize the NFL’s actions as performative, describing a “coordinated effort to hide what they acknowledged.” Maloney is referring of course to the NFL’s effort bury an investigation into the toxic work culture of the Commanders, led by attorney Beth Wilkinson.
According to the committee’s congressional report, Wilkinson’s investigation found multiple allegations of harassment and abuse against other teams, and that the NFL prioritized the interests of league owners over those of their own employees, with multiple reports of failure to protect employees who could not report misconduct without fear of retaliation. The report stated, “Rather than seek accountability, the NFL aligned its legal interests with Mr. Snyder’s, failed to curtail his abusive tactics, and buried the investigation’s findings.”
Despite these findings of a toxic work culture against the organization and Dan Snyder, the NFL has declared their commitment to courses of action that directly contradict the findings of the report, with NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy releasing a statement that said the NFL is “committed to ensuring that all employees of the NFL and the 32 clubs work in a professional and supportive environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and other forms of illegal or unprofessional conduct.”
Following the release of the congressional report, head coach Ron Rivera told DC News Now that he has continued to encourage his players to “focus on what’s in front of them, not the distractions,” as they move forward.