By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – The National Football League (NFL) has fined the Washington Football Team $10 million after a review of allegations of a hostile culture, it said on Thursday, but did not suspend team owner Dan Snyder.
Independent counsel Beth Wilkinson conducted the review beginning July 2020, interviewing more than 150 people including Snyder, and found the workplace demonstrated “a general lack of respect” toward women.
“Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear, and numerous female employees reported having experienced sexual harassment,” the NFL said in a statement. “Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention to these issues.
“In some instances, senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves, including use of demeaning language and public embarrassment.”
Snyder said in a statement that the team “made a lot of changes” over the past 18 months, including the implementation of a “new and diverse leadership team” and a “comprehensive program of training”.
“It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realize the extent of the problems, or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue,” Snyder said.
“I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace.”
The Washington Football Team on Tuesday named Snyder’s wife, Tanya Snyder, as co-CEO of the team.
“Tanya Snyder will assume responsibilities for all day-to-day team operations and represent the club at all league meetings and other league activities for at least the next several months. Dan Snyder will concentrate on a new stadium plan and other matters,” the NFL said.
Allegations of widespread sexual harassment and abuse came to light a year ago in a Washington Post report https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/07/16/redskins-sexual-harassment-larry-michael-alex-santos.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery, editing by Ed Osmond)