Former Commanders employees detail new allegations of misconduct, including one against Dan Snyder
Content warning: This story contains instances of alleged sexual misconduct.
Former Washington Commanders employees detailed multiple new accusations of misconduct within the organization Thursday. Multiple former employees spoke about new allegations of misconduct during an episode of HBO's "Real Sports" podcast.
The podcast episode was released the same day Congress held a roundtable with former members of the team to discuss misconduct within the organization.
Allegations discussed on the podcast include:
• Two women accused a player of walking over to their desks and pulling out his penis. The incident reportedly took place in an office, and no one in the office said anything about it.
• One woman claimed she was told she could not be a scout or a member of the football operations department because she — and all women — were "a distraction."
• One woman claimed she saw a friend get groped in front of team owner Dan Snyder, who reportedly laughed after seeing a team executive grope the woman.
• A former cheerleader — Tiffani A. Johnston — accused Snyder of strategically sitting next to Johnston at a team dinner so he could touch Johnston's leg. Johnston said she removed Snyder's hand. After the team dinner, Johnston claimed Snyder tried to get Johnston into a limo. Snyder reportedly pushed Johnston toward the limo until Snyder's attorney told Snyder it was a "very, very bad idea." That allowed Johnston to get away from Snyder.
• One woman explained she did not feel comfortable reporting violations to human resources, saying she feared retribution and retaliation. She said information reported to HR reportedly always became public within the organization.
The NFL said Thursday it would review the new allegations against the Commanders, including Johnston's accusation of misconduct against Snyder.
NFL's Brian McCarthy: “The NFL is reviewing and will consider Ms. Johnston’s allegations as we would any other new allegations regarding workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders. We will determine any further action as appropriate."
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) February 3, 2022
NFL vice president Brian McCarthy said employees "deserve a workplace that is free from harassment of any kind and where they feel safe reporting misconduct." McCarthy said he was grateful to the witnesses who came forward and spoke to Congress on Thursday.
Congress holds roundtable on Commanders investigation
Johnston was among the former Commanders employees who spoke to Congress on Thursday. Johnston repeated the story about Snyder reportedly touching Johnston's leg at a team dinner. A letter written by Commanders former vice president Jason Friedman reportedly backed up Johnston's story.
Another former cheerleader and marketing director, Melanie Coburn, recounted an employee awards trip in which one of Coburn's colleague was "hazed to drink despite being a recovering addict," per The Athletic. Upon returning to Snyder's house, Coburn said she was told to stay in her room downstairs. She said she was sent downstairs because "the men had invited prostitutes back," according to The Athletic.
Congress held a roundtable in an attempt to get the NFL to release evidence used in its investigation into misconduct within the Commanders. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not require a written report from investigator Beth Wilkinson. Goodell received information about the investigation through oral reports.
The NFL fined the franchise $10 million after completing its investigation.
Snyder released a statement Thursday apologizing for the team's culture. He stated the allegations made against him are "outright lies."
Following the NFL's ruling, Snyder was accused of bribing former employees in an attempt to disrupt the investigation. Snyder was also accused of hiring private investigators to keep tabs on former employees who talked to the media. Snyder also reportedly filed lawsuits against former employees to try and discover who was speaking with the media.