Washington D.C. attorney general Karl A. Racine is filing a civil lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, team owner Dan Snyder, the National Football League (NFL), and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for colluding to deceive D.C. residents about an investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault.
The reason for the collusion, Racine said in a press conference, is to maintain a strong fanbase and “increase profits.”
“The Commanders and Dan Snyder lied to D.C. residents about what they knew about a toxic culture of sexual harassment and then they entered into a secret agreement with the NFL and commissioner Goodell that kept the truth from DC residents—all in an effort to protect their profits,” Racine said.
“In DC, you can’t lie to consumers to enrich yourself and get away with it. That’s what this lawsuit is about — standing up for D.C. residents who were deceived and misled. No one, not even Mr. Snyder is above the law.”
Civil Suit, Not Criminal, Against Commanders, Snyder, Goodell
This is not a criminal filing. This is a civil filing and therefore there will be no chance anyone involved or named will be at risk of serving any jail time for anything alleged.
All the plaintiffs have the right to seek a dismissal of the suit.
But Racine said that if that doesn’t happen, he will use subpoenas to gain depositions from all parties his office deems necessary, including Snyder and Goodell.
The NFL did not immediately comment on the matter.
According to Racine:
There have been “years of public reporting and outcry” in response to sexual assault and workplace abuse allegations against Washington Commanders executives, including team owner Dan Snyder.
The NFL conducted an investigation of these allegations and eventually removed Snyder from the day-to-day control of the team. That now has fallen to Tanya Snyder, the owner’s wife.
Racine’s office launched its own investigation in the fall of 2021 into the Commanders’ and NFL’s response to allegations of sexual harassment. During the investigation, OAG interviewed numerous witnesses, including former Commanders employees who experienced and witnessed alleged harassment.
D.C. AG Contends Snyder Waged Interference Campaign
OAG lawyers also reviewed thousands of internal documents produced by the Commanders and the NFL, including emails.
Racine contends that his investigation revealed the Commanders, the NFL, and their executives, Snyder and Goodell, worked to prevent District residents from learning the truth and keep profiting.
“[It was to] let the money roll,” he said.
The NFL publicly promised to fully cooperate with an independent investigation, Racine said. The investigation into the toxic work environment and sexual harassment within the organization promised results the fans could trust, he said.
“But behind the scenes, Snyder waged an interference campaign to cover up years of harassment,” Racine said. “And the NFL let him do it, betraying fans’ trust by enabling Snyder to have a say at the end of the investigation into him and the Commanders.”
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