News & Politics

ACLU, TIME’S UP, and Others Call On NFL to Release Findings From Washington Football Team Sexual Harassment Investigation

The groups say "a countless number of witnesses" have provided information about Dan Snyder's "abusive behavior."

Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

The Washington Football Team may not be playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl game, but the club is still in the spotlight as an investigation into allegations of workplace sexual harassment comes to a close. A letter published today and signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Futures Without Violence, National Women’s Law Center, and TIME’S UP Foundation implores NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to publicly release the findings of the league’s probe.

Team owner Dan Snyder originally launched the investigation into the team’s culture in July, after the Washington Post published an article featuring testimony from 15 women who allege they were sexually harassed while working as WFT employees. Snyder hired Beth Wilkinson, a partner at DC-based firm Wilkinson Stekloff, to lead the inquiry.

However, the NFL took custody of the investigation in August in the wake of yet another Washington Post report that linked Snyder himself to workplace sexual harassment. As a result, Wilkinson will report her findings to the league, rather than the team.

The letter offers some insight into what’s been happening behind the scenes of the months-long inquiry. Its authors write:

We also understand that a countless number of witnesses, including former male employees, provided detailed information about Mr. Snyder’s abusive behavior and his own misconduct. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has provided legal support to dozens of women who courageously came forward to expose the two-decades long practices of sexual exploitation and abuse while working for Mr. Snyder’s organization, and several sat for interviews with lawyers from the Wilkinson law firm. They shared personal accounts of the significant role Mr. Snyder played in creating a sexually-hostile work environment that allowed women employees to be treated like play objects for the amusement of male executives and wealthy clients.

 

Failing to make the findings public, the letter states, would be akin to forcing those witnesses to “face the trauma of being silenced again” and to allowing the “pervasive and abhorrent behavior and culture of sexual harassment in the WFT [to] continue unchecked.”

Read the full letter here.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture. Originally from Rockville, she lives in Logan Circle.