News & Politics

DC Attorney General Sues Dan Snyder, Commanders, NFL

Karl Racine accused them of violating DC's consumer protection act.

Commanders owner Dan Snyder. Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

DC attorney general Karl Racine announced Thursday that his office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Commanders owner Dan Snyder, his franchise, the National Football League, and league commissioner Roger Goodell “for colluding to deceive” city residents about an investigation into the team’s allegedly toxic workplace so that fans would continue to financially support the Commanders “without thinking that they were supporting such misconduct.”

Speaking at a press conference, Racine accused Snyder of lying to consumers when Snyder denied allegations that he knew about the Commanders’ allegedly hostile work environment and culture of sexual harassment, and also accused the Commanders, the NFL, and Goodell of misleading the public about “what was being done” with regards to an investigation into those allegations–an investigation that began with the Commanders hired attorney Beth Wilkinson for what Snyder said was a “full, unbiased” probe; continued after the NFL took over the investigation in the face of public outcry; and ended with the league fining the Commanders $10 million but not releasing Wilkinson’s detailed findings.

Arguing that Snyder, the Commanders, the NFL, and Goodell worked in concert behind the scenes to undermine the investigation and ultimately block public knowledge of Wilkinson’s findings, the lawsuit states that the defendants attempted to bolster “public confidence and fan loyalty” through “artful deception.” Racine said this violates DC’s consumer protection act, which he says covers “any material misstatement that a merchant of business makes that could impact consumers in the District of Columbia.”

While Racine leaves his post in January, he said that he is “quite confident” that the case will go forward with attorney-general-elect Brian Schwalb.

Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.