The Washington Commanders football team created a “toxic work culture” for more than 20 years, “ignoring and downplaying sexual misconduct” by men at the top levels of the organization, according to a report by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform. The report claimed that Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder was involved in the misconduct, noting that he inappropriately touched a former employee at a dinner, had staffers produce a video “of sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders,” and ordered that women auditioning to be cheerleaders walk on the field “while he and his friends gawked from his suite through binoculars.”
As outlined in the report, Snyder also interfered in the original investigation (known as the Wilkinson investigation) and with the House committee’s investigation by “intimidating witnesses,” “refusing to release former employees from their confidentiality obligations,” and blocking “the Committee’s access to tens of thousands of documents collected during the Wilkinson Investigation.”
The Commanders’ legal counsel said the committee’s work was “one-sided,” that there were “no new revelations” in the report, and that the team is “proud of the progress it has made in recent years in establishing a welcoming and inclusive workplace, and it looks forward to future success, both on and off the field.”
Snyder recently hired Bank of America Securities to explore selling part or all of the team he has owned since 1999. The Commanders are worth an estimated $5.6 billion, according to Forbes — a sevenfold increase over the then-record $800 million Snyder paid for the team in 1999.