As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell prepares to meet with the House Oversight Committee regarding the league’s investigation into Daniel Snyder, troubling new details have emerged regarding specific allegations against the Washington Commanders owner.
Snyder is already the subject of an investigation from the NFL following allegations of financial misconduct and sexual harassment. Multiple accusers came forward during the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Commanders’ toxic culture.
As Snyder faces a potential subpoena amid the committee’s persistent urging for him to testify before its members, new documents shed even more light on allegations made against Washington’s franchise owner for multiple incidents that allegedly happened in 2009.
According to legal documents obtained by The Washington Post, a former female Commanders’ employee accused Snyder of sexual assault and harassment in April 2009. Three months after the alleged sexual assault and harassment, the organization agreed to a 41.6 million payment for a confidential settlement.
The woman provided a detailed accusation of what she said happened in 2009. While on a private team plane on a return flight from a work trip to Las Vegas, she accuses Snyder of groping her, attempting to remove her clothes and asking her for sex.
In 2020, it was first reported by The Washington Post that the Commanders agreed to a $1.6 million settlement with a former team employee. However, the recent legal documents now detail the specific nature of the accusations made against Snyder.
Snyder strongly denied the allegations, calling them ‘meritless‘. At the time of the denial, he said he only agreed to settle due to the request from the team’s insurance company.
Impact of Daniel Snyder allegations on NFL
These are not the first sexual misconduct allegations levied against Snyder. Tiffani Johnson, who spoke to the House Oversight Committee in February, accused Snyder of sexual harassment while they were at a work event.
Attorney Beth Wilkinson, who oversaw the investigation into the Commanders’ toxic culture spoke to the unidentified woman regarding her allegations. While Wilkinson’s report resulted in Daniel Snyder stepping down from day-to-day operations and paying a $10 million fine, the report itself was never made public.
The NFL’s decision to receive an oral presentation on Wilkinson’s findings is one of the biggest reasons for the ongoing congressional inquiry. League officials indicated they wanted to avoid a written report that could be released publicly to protect the identities of accusers who came forward. However, many of the people who brought their accusations to light requested the findings from Wilkinson’s report be made public.
While each of the accusations being made against Snyder is serious, there remains doubt about a forced removal from the NFL. It is permitted in the league’s bylaws, but it requires a majority vote from NFL owners. Given Snyder’s history in the NFL and his reputation, the NFL likely fears a forced sale would turn into a legal battle with Snyder using the discovery process and media attention to shed light on the actions of other team owners.