Jul 1, 2021 - Sports

NFL fines Washington Football Team $10M after misconduct investigation

A detailed view of the Washington Football Team logo
Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL has fined the Washington Football Team $10 million after an independent investigation found the organization's workplace was "highly unprofessional," particularly for women, the league announced Thursday.

Driving the news: The misconduct and harassment allegations by previous employees over a 15-year period became public following an investigation by The Washington Post last summer.

  • The team had been under an independent investigation, led by attorney Beth Wilkinson, since July 2020.

What they found: Wilkinson interviewed more than 150 people, including current and former employees of the team who received anonymity in exchange for their testimony. Washington owner Daniel Snyder also was interviewed. 

  • In an announcement, the league stated that "for many years the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team, both generally and particularly for women, was highly unprofessional."
  • "Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear, and numerous female employees reported having experienced sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace," the NFL added.
  • “Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention to these issues. In some instances, senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves, including use of demeaning language and public embarrassment.”

Synder, who is stepping away from the day-to-day operations for several months, said that he agreed the NFL commissioner's decisions regarding the investigation and is "committed to implementing his investigation's important recommendations."

  • "I will concentrate my time during the next several months on developing a new stadium plan and other matters," he added.

The big picture: The $10 million will be used for "organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and related topics," the NFL said, as well as "programs directed more broadly at improving the workplace, particularly for women and other underrepresented groups."

  • Tanya Snyder will assume the responsibilities of CEO and will oversee all day-to-day team operations and represent the club on all league activities for at least the next several months, the NFL said.
  • In a January Axios interview, Washington Football Team president Jason Wright said the organization and its staff are committed to changing the culture.
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