- The House Oversight and Reform Committee hosted a hearing on Washington’s NFL team on Wednesday.
- Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who is central to the misconduct allegations, declined to testify before Congress.
- Instead, Representative Carolyn Maloney said the “chose to skip town” and take his “luxury yacht” to France.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder refused to testify before Congress during the US House hearing on his team’s “hostile workplace culture” and “inadequate response” of the NFL.
And House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney criticized Snyder for his absence Wednesday, especially after learning he went on vacation.
“Instead of coming forward and taking responsibility for your actions, [Snyder] chose to skip town,” the New York Democrat said in her opening statement. “Apparently, Mr. Snyder is in France, where he docked his luxury yacht near a resort town. That should indicate how much respect he has for women in the workplace.”
“Mr. Snyder’s absence is all the more telling given that the Committee today released new evidence that Snyder himself fostered the Commanders’ toxic workplace,” it added.
The evidence Maloney cited details Snyder’s efforts to defend “male executives accused of sexual harassment” while also taking steps to fire “women, but not men, who engaged in relationships with other employees.” She said the committee found the 57-year-old billionaire instituted “a culture of fear” to deter employees from speaking out against workplace misconduct.
A former employee told investigators that Snyder’s approach involved intimidation, firing and bribery.
“For more than two decades, Dan Snyder refused to protect the women who worked for him from the toxic culture he created,” Maloney said. “The NFL has also failed to protect these women. Now, I think it’s up to Congress to protect them, and millions more like them.”
Maloney has introduced two bills to combat toxic workplace cultures like the one congressional investigators found festering within the ranks of the Commanders for years.
the Workplace Misconduct Liability Act intends to “require employers to conduct thorough investigations and share the outcome with victims” while prohibiting employers from burying misconduct through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) like those Snyder is known to employ in the workplace of the Commanders.
The second bill, a response to the team’s creation of secret “lewd cheerleading videos for Dan Snyder’s private enjoyment,” would prohibit employers from using professional images of their employees without explicit consent.
Maloney said he wants to hold Snyder accountable in a way the NFL hasn’t. During the hearing, he announced his intention to subpoena Commanders’ owner to testify in front of the committee next week.
“Mr. Snyder’s refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned with protecting himself than coming clean to the American public,” Maloney said. “If the NFL is not willing to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so.”
“The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at Washington Commanders,” it added.