The Washington Post published a report Thursday in which 15 former female employees of the Washington Redskins, in addition to two journalists who covered the team, claimed they were sexually harassed by team staffers while working for the organization.
The bombshell report prompted the Redskins to launch an internal investigation. Team owner Dan Snyder, who declined to comment in the Washington Post’s original article, released an official statement in wake of the disturbing allegations that reportedly were committed by several men within Snyder’s inner circle.
“The behavior described in (Thursday’s) Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said. “This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.
“Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations. Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all.”
The NFL also addressed the Washington Post report in an official release Friday morning.
“These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values,” the statement said. “Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations.
“The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on their findings.”
Rivera, who was hired roughly six months ago, was the only team staffer quoted in the Washington Post report, saying “we’re trying to create a new culture here.” He also addressed local reporters Thursday night.
“Biggest thing is we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution,” Rivera said, according to The Athletic. “Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!
“Dan Snyder brought me here to change culture and create an environment of inclusion among employees. I believe everyone that works for this franchise has a vested interest in our success.”
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