Washington NFL Team Hires Independent Firm To Review 'Culture' Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Friday, July 17th 2020, 9:10 am
By: CBS News

The NFL's Washington Redskins have hired a law firm to conduct an independent review after 15 women alleged, in a Washington Post report, that they were sexually harassed while working for the club. The firm Wilkinson Walsh in a statement said it will conduct "an independent review of the team's culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct."

The 15 women who spoke to the Post alleged multiple instances of verbal and sexual abuse over 13 years. The accusations include some of the team's top executives. 

While none of the women accused the team's owner, Dan Snyder, of harassment, some said they doubted that Snyder wasn't aware of it, according to the newspaper.

Three of the men accused in the article "abruptly departed" the organization as the Post presented the allegations to the club, the newspaper said. That includes the club's assistant director of pro personnel — who allegedly told a female employee to "expect an inappropriate hug," and added, "And don't worry that will be a stapler in my pocket, nothing else" — as well as his boss, who was accused of making inappropriate remarks about multiple employees' bodies and asking them if they were romantically interested in him, the Post said. Both men were fired.

The team's longtime radio voice, Larry Michael, who was accused of making inappropriate comments about women's bodies, announced his resignation this week. 

The Redskins directed CBS News to the comment they gave to the Post: "The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously ... While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly."

In a statement, the NFL said, "These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values. 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 the findings."

Adam Verdugo and Nikole Killion contributed reporting. 

First published on July 17, 2020 / 6:47 AM

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