As if the NFL needed another scandal following the Jon Gruden mess. And once again, the Washington Football Team appears to be at the center of it.
The Washington Post released yet another jaw-dropping article on Tuesday, detailing an environment of sexual harassment and financial-based underbelly dealings.
According to a report from Will Hobson of The Post, Washington offered financial settlements to former employees if they were to remain quiet about said allegations of workplace misconduct. It’s about as damning as it gets.
“Lawyers representing the Washington Football Team offered a financial settlement earlier this year in exchange for the silence of female former team employees who allege they endured sexual harassment while working there, according to two former employees,” the report read.
One former employee detailed the behind-the-scenes dealings.
“They were upset about our social media presence and press,” former Washington Football team producer Megan Imbert told the post. “We turned it down because we see the bigger picture, and we have always been after meaningful change, both within the organization and across the league.”
Related: NFL must answer questions following Jon Gruden resignation
Washington Football Team scandal is not going away
Remember, the backdrop to the Gruden scandal was the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach being in contact with then-Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen when he went off on misogynistic, homophobic and racist rants. Said emails reportedly included WFT cheerleaders being shown in compromising situations in photos.
While the NFL has refused to release the hundreds of thousands of emails it sifted through in regards to the Washington Football Team workplace misconduct investigation, it did fine the organization $10 million back in July. If these details are correct, that equates to a mere slap on the wrist. New information provided by former WFT employees add another layer to this.
“It just felt like they wanted to bury this and shut us up,” Imbert said.
This was pretty much repeated by the attorneys representing former Washington employees who were victims of workplace misconduct. Katz, Marshall & Banks released a statement on Wednesday in which the law firm called on NFL sponsors to demand transparency from the NFL relating to the WFT investigation.
“We write to you as leaders of some of the largest corporate sponsors of the National Football League (“NFL”) to ask that, on behalf of women and sexual assault survivors everywhere, you demand transparency from the League related to its investigation of the Washington Football Team (“WFT”).
We are former employees of the WFT, who, along with over a hundred others, came forward during the investigation to share our experiences of harassment, misogyny, and abuse at the hands of various corporate executives of the team, including owner Daniel Snyder. What has been revealed about the longtime culture of the WFT is one of the biggest scandals of the #MeToo era.”Statement from Katz, Marshall & Banks regarding NFL investigation into Washington Football Team
Daniel Snyder at the center of Washington Football Team scandal
As for the Washington Football Team hierarchy, the NFL shockingly opted not to punish Snyder for his role in the scandal. Instead, his wife, Tanya Snyder, is running day-to-day operations for the downtrodden organization.
As we saw with former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, there is precedent for the NFL forcing an owner to sell his/her team. That came after multiple former Panthers employees detailed workplace misconduct on the part of Richardson, including sexually suggestive language and behavior and racial slurs.
With that said, Commissioner Roger Goodell’s inaction on this Washington Football Team matter could be telling. The only leaks we’ve seen from the league’s investigation into the matter and the emails have been relating to Gruden. Is the league covering something up here, too?
“The many survivors who had come forward in good faith to share their experiences deserved to understand the truth, and to know that their participation was meaningful and reflected in the findings,” 10 former Washington employees said in a statement following the Gruden resignation.
“”The consequence of Mr. Goodell’s decisions around this investigation, and the lack of any meaningful action against Dan Snyder, is to tell women and survivors everywhere: ‘You and your experiences do not matter to the NFL — especially if those experiences potentially expose the misdeeds of a very wealthy owner.”
Yeah, this is not going away any time soon.