The NFL informed Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder that it will be taking over the investigation into the club's workplace issues and alleged culture of sexual harassment as highlighted by scathing reports from the Washington Post, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with Snyder about taking over the investigation on Monday and Rapoport relays that the owner was supportive of the idea.
In a statement from Snyder released following this news going public, however, the Washington owner said that he was the one who suggested the league take over the investigation to solidify its integrity.
"Recently, The Washington Football Team launched an independent third-party investigation into allegations about our culture and incidents of harassment," Snyder said in the statement. "In conversations with commissioner Goodell, Tanya [Snyder] and I suggested that the NFL assume full oversight of the investigation so that the results are thorough, complete and trusted by the fans, the players, our employees and the public. I appreciate commissioner Goodell agreeing to our suggestion and the entire Washington Football Team remains committed to fully cooperating with all aspects of the investigation."
Snyder originally hired Beth Wilkinson of District of Columbia law firm Wilkinson Walsh LLP to conduct the investigation into those allegations and of the club's culture earlier this offseason in response to the reports from the Post. The paper released a disturbing report in mid-July that included 15 former Washington employees claiming they were sexually harassed during their time with the club. In late August, the Post released another report citing interviews of more than 100 current and former employees that claim Snyder "has presided over an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, discriminated against and exploited." Snyder himself has been at the center of a couple of these allegations, including that the club creating lewd videos of the club's cheerleaders for him. All of this comes two years after the New York Times reported on ex-cheerleaders alleging they were "pimped out" to male sponsors and suite holders.
Wilkinson will continue to conduct the investigation, per Garafolo, but will now report to Roger Goodell and the NFL instead of directly to Snyder and Washington.