Multiple claims of sexual harassment are upstaging the Washington Redskins’ team renaming saga. The disturbing revelations, detailed by The Washington Post on Thursday, could shake up the NFL team’s ownership ranks.
According to the paper, 15 women are alleging widespread sexual harassment while working for the Washington Redskins. Although Dan Snyder isn’t directly implicated by the claims, they all occurred during his tenure as the team’s owner.
Redskins’ Harassment Rampant
More than a dozen women revealed details about the Redskins’ toxic work environment. Inappropriate comments, texts, and physical contact were common workday occurrences. Everything from suggesting breast augmentation to outright grab-assing went unchecked. According to WaPo’s investigation, women often met in the restroom to “commiserate and cry.”
Larry Michael, Alex Santos, and Richard Mann II were all named in the claims.
On Saturday, the Redskins fired Santos and Mann, the Director and Assistant Director of Pro Personnel. The two men were responsible for scouting opponents and evaluating free agents.
Michael, the team’s longtime play-by-play announcer, announced his retirement on Wednesday. The Redskins’ Chief Content Officer was with the team for the past 16 years.
Dennis Greene, the former president of business operations, also made the investigation’s short-list of harassers. Greene, however, left during the last Redskins scandal involving the exploitation of the team’s cheerleaders. Mitch Gershman, the former Redskins’ COO, allegedly excelled in verbal abuse. He left the organization in 2015.
Is Snyder’s Reign Over?
After this week’s sudden team departures, rumors started circulating on Reddit and Twitter.
Working my sources but apparently changing of the Redskins name will be old news come tomorrow when a bombshell report is expected to surface. There’s growing buzz that unflattering news about organization could come out in just hours. We will be live with the latest on @ABC7GMW pic.twitter.com/zTK19dV4Mo
— John Gonzalez (@ABC7John) July 16, 2020
After today’s news, however, one question remains. Will this be enough to unseat Snyder?
Snyder hasn’t been a popular NFL owner. Ever since he bought the team in 1999, he’s been slow to garner fan support. Of course, it didn’t help that Snyder sued season ticket holders during the financial crisis and once banned homemade signs at FedEx stadium. His own business partners don’t care for him either.
Even before the Redskins’ harassment news broke, there was trouble in the ownership ranks. It’s minority-owner and FedEx CEO, Fred Smith, who pushed Snyder to change the team’s name. Meanwhile, all three minority owners decided this month that they’d rather sell their stakes in the NFL team than continue working with Snyder.
ESPN reports that the Redskins have already hired attorney Beth Wilkinson. Meanwhile, the NFL owners have a meeting on Friday. The meeting was called to discuss NFLPA issues concerning the coronavirus, but it’s a sure bet the Redskins’ harassment scandal will be added to the agenda.