According to a Washington Post report, a former Washington Football Team executive instructed employees to create a behind-the-scenes video for owner Dan Snyder featuring clips of partially nude cheerleaders from a 2008 calendar shoot.
Brad Baker, who worked previously for former senior vice president and lead team broadcaster Larry Michael, told the Post in an interview that Michael told members of his staff to make the video for Snyder. When reached by the Post for comment, Michael denied the allegations.
“Larry said something to the effect of, ‘We have a special project that we need to get done for the owner today: He needs us to get the good bits of the behind-the-scenes video from the cheerleader shoot onto a DVD for him,'” Baker told the Post.
Snyder and the Washington Football Team provided no comment after multiple requests from the Post.
Tim DeLaney, one of the men Baker said was involved in the making of the lewd video, disputed the claim.
“I was never asked to create an outtakes video, and I have no knowledge of anyone creating one or even being asked to create one,” said DeLaney, then Washington’s vice president of production and now vice president of broadcast and digital content for the Arizona Cardinals. “I certainly would have remembered that conversation had it happened.”
The Post also reported that a former cheerleader, Tiffany Bacon Scourby, said Snyder suggested at a 2004 charity event that she join “his close friend” in a hotel room so “they could get to know each other.” Three people supported her account, including the team’s former cheerleader director, according to the Post.
The Post’s story also went into detail about what several women described as a culture in which women were objectified. Brittany Pareti, a team employee from 2007 to 2012, commented about the culture: “It was like fresh meat to a pack of wolves every time a new pack of interns would come in. It was like a frat house, with men lined up in the lobby watching women walk in and out. You constantly felt there were eyes on you.”
A 2017 letter sent by Julie Kalmanides said that “it has also been requested that, if at all possible, females are not present in any football areas while the players are here.” Kalmanides, the team’s only human resources employee at the time, told the Post that senior executives wrote the email and she sent it.
Twenty-five women also spoke to the Post about experiencing sexual harassment while working for Washington. Most provided information anonymously because of nondisclosure agreements and in fear of retaliation by the organization.
These latest revelations come amidst allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic workplace culture spanning from 2006 to 2019. Snyder has stated a commitment to improving the culture of his team after these allegations initially surfaced. In July, ESPN obtained a letter signed by Snyder and his wife Tanya. This letter was sent to each member of the organization in which the Snyders apologized on behalf of the team and asked for everybody’s help “to build a better organizational culture.”
Before taking action on the matter, the NFL said it will wait for a law firm’s review of the organization’s culture.