Dan Snyder, the owner of Washington's NFL franchise, has hired a District of Columbia law firm to review the Washington NFL team's culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.
Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP confirmed to The Associated Press that the firm had been retained to conduct an independent review. ESPN was first to report the team hiring the firm.
The hiring comes the same day The Washington Post published an explosive story in which 15 former female employees said they were subjected to a culture of sexism and sexual harassment.
The report detailed specific allegations against five male employees, three of whom left the team this week. The women also accused Snyder and former team president Bruce Allen of fostering a toxic work environment.
The report detailed harassment allegations against former play-by-play announcer Larry Michael, director of pro personnel Alex Santos, assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, former assistant of business operations Dennis Greene and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman. Santos and Mann were fired this week, and Michael announced his retirement this week.
The report surfaces weeks after the club announced it would retire its team name, which is widely recognized as a slur against Native Americans. A new team name has not yet been announced.
On Friday, the NFL released the following statement after the Washington Post's report:
”These matters as reported are serious, disturbing, and contrary to the NFL’s values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings.”