Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have been requested to testify at a congressional hearing on June 22.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the chairperson of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the chairperson of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to both men to make the request.
The House Oversight Committee has been investigating the Commanders’ hostile workplace culture. According to a statement, the June 22 hearing will also examine “the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces.”
“Since we launched our investigation in October, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, to hold accountable those responsible, and to better protect workers across the country,” Maloney said in a statement. “The Committee has worked tirelessly to obtain critical information, including the findings of the internal investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, only to be met with obstruction from the Commanders and the NFL at every turn. We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months. The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again.”
Krishnamoorthi added: “For seven months, the Committee has been stonewalled by NDAs and other tools to evade accountability. Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues.”
Last June, the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million as a result of its investigation, led by Wilkinson, into the franchise’s workplace culture. Last October, Maloney and Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to Goodell requesting all documents related to the investigation. Goodell, however, has said the full report on the investigation will not be released to protect the anonymity of the people who cooperate with the investigation.
The Washington Post reported in November that Snyder tried to prevent Wilkinson from interviewing a woman who had accused the owner of sexual misconduct in 2009. The woman was ultimately paid a $1.6 million settlement. Goodell, however, has denied that Snyder hindered the league’s investigation.
In February, at a congressional roundtable, Tiffani Johnston, a former marketing and events coordinator for the team, levied a new allegation against Snyder, accusing him of touching her without her consent at a work dinner about 13 years ago. Snyder issued a statement denying her allegations. The NFL has launched an investigation into the allegations.
In April, the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and several attorneys general alleging that the Commanders failed to refund security deposits, concealed revenue and kept two sets of financial books. The allegations of financial improprieties were made by former longtime employee Jason Friedman who, on March 14, met with members of the committee as part of its investigation into the team’s workplace culture.
The Commanders have denied the allegations. The Virginia attorney general’s office announced in late April that it will open an investigation into the allegations.