Goodell: NFL won’t release report on Snyder/Commander investigation despite pressure

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calls Washington commander’s workplace misconduct “unprofessional and unacceptable,” but again weighs in on the league’s decision not to release its response to the football team and owner Dan Snyder The decision was defended in a written report of the internal investigation. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Mr Goodell appeared remotely, keeping the coalition’s pledge to keep those involved in the investigation, conducted by lawyer Beth Wilkinson, confidential. At the conclusion of her investigation, the league released only a summary of its findings as it imposed a $10 million fine on Washington’s team in July 2021.

Lawmakers continued to press for the report, but Mr Goodell said the coalition had no plans to change the policy.

“I know of a number of victims, including those who appear on this committee, who have each been invited to participate in Beth Wilkinson’s investigation and have chosen to share their experiences publicly and I fully respect that choice,” Mr Goodell said. . “Many others have made different choices, and it is my responsibility to honour my commitment to protecting their confidentiality. I am confident that if the NFL or our clubs need another investigation of similar discretion, future witnesses will be happy to share them experience because they know we won’t break our word.”

He added: “We assert privilege when the committee raises issues or requests documents that may violate the privacy of witnesses. We will continue to do so in order to uphold our commitment.”

Mr Goodell’s statement was similar to his response when asked by reporters about the decision. In his opening remarks, as he did to reporters, the coalition chief focused on changes in Washington’s management structure — telling the commission commander’s workplace “today bears no resemblance to the one the commission describes.”

Mr Snyder took a combative tone in a statement issued at the committee meeting.

“It is clear that the House Oversight Committee’s findings into the Washington commander were predetermined from the start,” a spokesman for Snyder said. “The committee’s decision to issue a ‘report’ ahead of the hearing and introduce legislation to prove yes, is always just a show trial with political overtones, not a revelation. Hopefully the committee will be able to use its resources to address more pressing national matters, Not a problem that football teams solved years ago.”

In February, the league opened a second investigation into the team after a former employee accused Snyder of unwelcome advancement. The coalition, which hired former SEC Chairman Mary Jo White to oversee the probe, said it would release a written report this time around since the allegations became public.

In his statement, Mr. Goodell also addressed the league’s penalties, pointing to the eight-figure fine and Mr. Snyder’s loss of day-to-day control of the team.

“Furthermore, Daniel Snyder has not participated in coalition or committee meetings over the past year and, as far as I know, has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the commander,” Mr Goodell said.

While Mr Goodell insists Mr Snyder has reduced his role as commander, a senior source told The Washington Times in March that the owner is still involved in day-to-day operations and has no restrictions on overseeing the team. . Commanders coach Ron Rivera has made frequent references to talking to Mr. Snyder throughout the season, and a source said Mr. Snyder was “actively involved” in the team’s trade for quarterback Carson earlier this year. Wentz’s decision.

Before Mr. Goodell’s opening remarks, the committee released a 29-page memo alleging that Mr. Snyder, who declined to appear at the hearing, conducted a “shadow investigation” during the league’s investigation in an attempt to discredit accusers and shift blame from the former team Workplace Culture by President Bruce Allen.

Carolyn B. Maloney, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, a New York Democrat who wrote the memo, took aim at Snyder in her opening remarks.

“Mr. Snyder’s absence is all the more persuasive given new evidence released by the committee today that Mr. Snyder himself contributed to the commanders’ toxic workplace,” Ms Maloney said. “According to former executives, he fired women — but not men — who had relationships with other employees, while defending male executives who were accused of sexual harassment. He blocked employees from speaking up through a culture of fear.”

“As one longtime employee described Mr. Snyder’s strategy, ‘If you don’t obey, intimidate. If you still don’t obey, terminate.’ Finally, the employee added, ‘If that doesn’t work, buy break. “

Ms Maloney introduced two bills last week that stemmed from the panel’s months-long investigation into the commander. The first bill aims to curb the use of nondisclosure agreements by employers in sexual harassment cases, while the second bill aims to limit the abuse of the employee’s image.

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