A name change is not the only drama currently embroiling Washington’s NFL franchise.
According to the Washington Post, 15 women who worked for the Washington Redskins and 2 reporters that covered the club said that they were sexually harassed by other employees during their time with the club. The NFL released a statement on July 17 addressing the allegations through spokesperson Brian McCarthy.
“These matters are reported as serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values,” said McCarthy in the statement, “Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment.”
Washington hired D.C.-based law firm Wilkinson Walsh to review the allegations. Beth Wilkinson is a well-connected lawyer and graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law who is best known for arguing for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and for representing political figures.
“Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations,” McCarthy continued, “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 attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings.”
Washington team owner Dan Snyder offered a statement in response to the allegations on the morning of July 17. “The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said in the statement issued by the franchise he has owned since 1999.
“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,” said Snyder.
Snyder has already faced public criticism in 2018 for Washington team officials allegedly forcing the club’s cheerleaders to pose in a topless photo shoot and to be personal escorts at a nightclub for male suite holders and sponsors during a 2013 trip to Costa Rica.