By my count, the Washington Football Team is currently dealing with its third unique kerfuffle of the offseason, preceded by pressure to change the team’s name, and a Washington Post report in which allegations of sexual harassment going unchecked in the workplace surfaced. The paper published an even more elaborate report alleging further misconduct, including, this time, some connected to owner Daniel Snyder, with a much more extensive list of witness testimonials.
Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on the matter after the report came out, stating, “we strongly condemn the unprofessional, disturbing and abhorrent behavior and workplace environment alleged in the report which is entirely inconsistent with our standards and has no place in the NFL”.
He went on to note that “and independent investigation” is underway, though some have already questioned the independence of said investigation. “If at any time the club or anyone associated with the club fails to [comply with the investigation], the investigating council has been asked to promptly advise our office and we will take appropriate action”.
Snyder himself issued a direct response to the article, in which he wavers back and forth between acknowledging that changes are needed and attacking the piece, at one point calling it a “hit job” that is “riddled with questionable and unnamed sources”, anonymous sources of course being the bedrock of investigative journalism, because if you can’t protect your sources, you’re not getting any information. He accused the paper of having “other negative agendas” and insist that many of the allegations are disputed by testimony of former employees.
The most salacious allegation in the paper came from Tiffany Scourby, a former Washington cheerleader who said that Snyder propositioned her to join him and an associate in a hotel room to “get to know each other better”, an account backed up by three of her friends, which includes the team’s director of their cheerleaders. Snyder expressed ‘disappointment’ that Scourby would tell this account to the paper but not address management—when of course, he is the management who is accused of the violation.
It’s interesting to note that the team itself and their new president both shared separate, additional statements that strike a much more different and conciliatory tone. Everybody else in the organization is looking to move on and make a fresh start.
Many are wondering if that is even possible with Snyder still in the fold.