News & Politics

Former Washington Football Team Employees to NFL: Please Stop “Protecting” Us!

Two lawyers for 40 former employees of Washington Football Team have written a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who said Tuesday that he couldn’t release a report about the team’s culture because investigators promised some sources anonymity.

“Our clients came forward with details of the harassment and abuse that they suffered with the reasonable expectation that they and the public would be provided with the findings of the 10-month-long investigation,” attorneys Lisa J. Banks and Debra Katz write in the letter to Goodell. In fact, they write, “the investigators in this case specifically asked us which of our clients would be willing to have their names revealed (presumably in their report of findings), and we provided that information to them.” They tell Goodell that “Our clients do not wish any further ‘protection’ from you by withholding this report.”

WFT owner Dan Snyder originally engaged Washington attorney Beth Wilkinson to investigate his organization after bombshell Washington Post reports about the team’s culture. The NFL took over the investigation late last summer but asked Wilkinson to submit her report orally. It fined Snyder $10 million and noted with approval that the team had made some changes to its management structure. Among those moves: Snyder hired his wife, Tanya Snyder, as co-CEO.

Goodell’s prevarication about releasing the report, Banks and Katz write, as well as his claims about people who contributed to the investigation, “suggests strongly that it is not they who you are determined to protect.”

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.