Washington Commanders Toxic Workplace Investigation


By:  Claire Sweetman

On December 8, 2022, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform issued its report after a 14-month inquiry into the Washington Commanders football team and its owner, Dan Snyder.[1] The report, spanning 79 pages, included findings on “rampant misconduct” and a “toxic workplace culture” that began as early as 2001 and continued for roughly 20 years within the organization.[2] According to the Committee, Mr. Snyder “permitted and participated” in creating the toxic environment, obstructed a congressional inquiry, intimidated witnesses, and maintained “over 100 times” that he ”could not recall” answers to questions asked of him.[3]

The report states that Mr. Snyder “permitted and participated in this troubling conduct,” including inappropriately touching a former employee at dinner and directing staffers to produce a video of “sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders.”[4] He also ordered women who were trying out for the cheerleading team to walk out on the field “while he and his friends gawked from his suite through binoculars.”[5]

According to the Committee, the NFL “knew about” the toxic work environment and “took no responsibility.”[6] The report says: “The NFL’s ongoing failure to take workplace misconduct seriously is compounded by its own policies that are designed to protect the interest of club owners.”[7]

The Commanders denied accountability and made the following statement:

“These Congressional investigators demonstrated, almost immediately, that they were not interested in the truth, and were only interested in chasing headlines by pursuing one side of the story. Today’s report is the predictable culmination of that one-sided approach.”

With the House of Representatives changing hands to a Republican majority in 2023, the investigation will likely come to a halt. Still, rumors are circulating that a potential sale of the Commanders may be in the works in the upcoming months.[8]

[1] https://www.si.com/nfl/commanders/news/washington-commanders-dan-snyder-toxic-investigation-final-report-released-whats-next

[2] https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/commanders-dan-snyder-intimidated-witnesses-interfered-in-misconduct-investigations-scathing-report-says/3228889/

[3] https://www.si.com/nfl/commanders/news/washington-commanders-dan-snyder-toxic-investigation-final-report-released-whats-next

[4] https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/commanders-dan-snyder-intimidated-witnesses-interfered-in-misconduct-investigations-scathing-report-says/3228889/

[5] Id.

[6] https://www.si.com/nfl/commanders/news/washington-commanders-dan-snyder-toxic-investigation-final-report-released-whats-next

[7] Id.

[8] https://www.si.com/nfl/commanders/news/washington-commanders-respond-dan-snyder-toxic-workplace-investigation-report-not-interested-in-truth