Oversight Committee Invites Roger Goodell, Daniel Snyder to Testify at Hearing on Washington Commanders’ Hostile Workplace Culture
Washington, D.C. (June 1, 2022)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), and Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Commanders, requesting they appear before the Committee at a hearing on June 22, 2022. The hearing is the next step in the Committee’s months-long investigation into the Commanders’ hostile workplace culture and will also examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces.
“Since we launched our investigation in October, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, to hold accountable those responsible, and to better protect workers across the country,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “The Committee has worked tirelessly to obtain critical information, including the findings of the internal investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, only to be met with obstruction from the Commanders and the NFL at every turn. We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months. The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again.”
“For seven months, the Committee has been stonewalled by NDAs and other tools to evade accountability,” said Chairman Krishnamoorthi. “Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues.”
On October 21, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting all documents related to the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, including her investigative findings.
On November 5, 2021, the Chairs released a statement calling on the NFL and the Commanders to release all individuals from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about Daniel Snyder and the Commanders’ toxic work environment. The Chairs issued another statement in December 2021 following a report that detailed Mr. Snyder’s efforts to obstruct the internal investigation.
On February 3, 2022, the Committee held a roundtable with several former Washington Commanders’ employees who detailed widespread sexual harassment, abuse, and other workplace misconduct by top executives, including team owner Daniel Snyder, and explained that the League failed to address these issues. At the roundtable, Tiffani Johnston detailed sexual advances made by Mr. Snyder’s at a team dinner. Following the Committee’s roundtable, the NFL opened a new investigation into Mr. Snyder’s conduct, as well as financial improprieties brought to light by the Committee’s investigation.
On February 4, 2022, the Committee released documents, including a Common Interest Agreement signed by the NFL and the Commanders, and an engagement letter between the Commanders and Ms. Wilkinson’s law firm, which raised questions about the NFL’s purported commitment to independence and transparency in addressing workplace misconduct at the Commanders.
On April 12, 2022, the Committee sent the Federal Trade Commission troubling evidence of potential financial misconduct by the Washington Commanders, which the Committee obtained in the course of its investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and the NFL’s response. Following the Committee’s letter, attorneys general in Virginia and the District of Columbia announced investigations into the team’s conduct.