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An investigation by the NFL into workplace misconduct allegations against the Washington Football Team has been completed. As a result, embattled owner Daniel Snyder and Co. have been fined a whopping $10 million by the league.
No suspensions or further compensatory sanctions were delivered when the NFL announced Thursday that Washington also is obligated to report to the league twice a year through July 31, 2023, with updates about how it is following through on improving its workplace culture and implementing Wilkinson’s recommendations.
The $10 million fine “will be used to support organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and related topics,” according to the NFL.
It was about a year ago that the Washington Post published a scathing article on the culture within the Washington Football Team, including widespread allegations of sexual harassment directed at female workers. At that point, there was a call on Daniel Snyder to sell the team — some of that coming from minority owners.
Washington Football Team releases statement after NFL-mandated fine
“I have learned a lot in the past few months about how my club operated, and the kind of workplace that we had,” Daniel Snyder said in a statement. “It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realize the extent of the problems, or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue. I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace. I have said that and I say it again.”
“I feel great remorse for the people who had difficult, even traumatic, experiences while working here. I’m truly sorry for that. I can’t turn back the clock, but I promise that nobody who works here will ever have that kind of experience again, at least not as long as Tanya and I are the owners of this team.”
This comes shortly after Snyder announced that his wife, Tanya, was named co-CEO of the Washington Football Team. At least for the short term, she will take over day-to-day operations. For her part, Mrs. Snyder also released a statement on Thursday.
“I’m mortified to think that’s happening in our building and our business,” Tanya Snyder said.
The Post investigation in July 2020 included interviews with more than 40 current and former employees, including 15 women who alleged they were sexually harassed while working for the team. The main subjects of harassment accusations, including radio announcer Larry Michael, director of pro personnel Alex Santos and assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann, either retired or were fired by the team around the same time.
Dan Snyder himself was not the subject of sexual harassment accusations in the initial report, but he was alleged to have belittled a male colleague for having been a cheerleader in college. A follow-up report said the team settled a sexual misconduct claim against him in 2009 for $1.6 million.
As for the NFL, it also released a statement after announcing the $10 million fine.
“Over the past 18 months, Dan and Tanya have recognized the need for change and have undertaken important steps to make the workplace comfortable and dignified for all employees, and those changes, if sustained and built upon, should allow the club to achieve its goal of having a truly first-tier workplace,” Roger Goodell said. “I truly appreciate their commitment to fully implement each of the below ten recommendations, but the league also must ensure accountability for past deficiencies and for living up to current and future commitments.”
(Field Level Media contributed to this report)