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House Committee: Daniel Snyder allowed toxic culture, NFL aided in cover-up

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder speaks during the introductory press conference for head coach Ron Rivera at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder suppressed evidence that he and team executives sexually harassed women who worked at the team for over two decades, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform said Thursday in its final report after a nearly 14-month investigation.

In a 79-page report released Thursday, the Committee detailed the decades-long toxic workplace culture of the Washington franchise, the NFL’s response to the conduct and the league’s burial of a 2020-21 probe of the Commanders’ workplace led by attorney Beth Wilkinson.

The Committee’s report also notes the NFL was complicit in Snyder’s efforts against cooperating with the inquiry and was aware of the interference with the Wilkinson Investigation but failed to take action. It said the league’s mishandling of the investigation reflected “a broader pattern of failing to take workplace misconduct seriously.”

The report also detailed that Snyder “permitted and participated” in the franchise’s toxic work culture and went to great lengths to obstruct the Committee’s inquiry.

“Mr. Snyder was invited to testify at a public hearing but refused to appear and then sought to avoid service of a subpoena while abroad with his yacht,” per the report. “Mr. Snyder ultimately sat for a private deposition but failed to provide full and complete testimony. Over the course of the deposition, he claimed more than 100 times that he could not recall the answers to the Committee’s questions, including basic inquiries about his role as Team owner and multiple allegations of misconduct. Mr. Snyder also gave misleading testimony about his efforts to interfere with the Wilkinson Investigation.”

The report also chastised the NFL for failing to prevent Snyder from interfering with its investigation and for failing to address his conduct.

“The NFL chose to bury Ms. Wilkinson’s findings and whitewash the misconduct it uncovered,” the committee’s report said. “Rather than seek real accountability, the NFL aligned its legal interests with Mr. Snyder’s, failed to curtail his abusive tactics, and buried the investigation’s findings.”

An NFL spokesman told ESPN that the league had not seen the report and would not comment.

–Field Level Media