For the past week, there have been rumblings about a bombshell report coming out that would expose the rotten underbelly of Washington’s NFL team, and on Thursday we finally found out what it was.
The Washington Post reports that 15 former employees of Washington’s NFL team, all women, have accused team staff of verbal abuse and sexual misconduct. Those accused include Alex Santons, former director of pro personnel; Larry Michael, former senior vice president and longtime play-by-play announcer; and Richard Mann II, former assistant director of pro personnel. If you’re wondering why their job titles are all preceded with the word “former,” that’s because all of the above are no longer employed by the organization.
Others accused of inappropriate conduct include Dennis Greene, former president of business operations, who “implored female sales staff to wear low-cut blouses, tight skirts and flirt with wealthy [suite holders];” and Mitch Gershman, former chief operating officer, who “routinely berated [an accuser] for trivial problems such as printer malfunctions while also complimenting her body.”
There were no allegations made against team owner Daniel Snyder, though it’s important to note that Greene and Gershman were considered part of his “inner circle.”
In response to these allegations, the team has hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to “conduct a thorough independent review of this entire matter” and “help the team set new employee standards for the future,” according to CNN.
Snyder also released the following statement on Friday:
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society.
“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.”
Maybe Lt. Col. James Harvey, one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, was right. When asked about the possibility of the team adopting the Washington Red Tails as its new name, the 97-year-old said: “I am not sure they are worthy of the Red Tail name.”
Dan Snyder, you got some work to do, sir.