House panel reviews new material in its investigation into the Washington Commanders
The House Oversight Committee says it's reviewing new material from the NFL related to the investigation of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders."The Committee has received additional documents from the NFL, which we are currently reviewing. We have been clear that the NFL must stop hiding the results of the Wilkinson investigation and fully comply with the Committee's requests, or the Committee will have no choice but to take further action," a committee spokesperson said in an email to NPR."The Chairs are committed to uncovering the truth about what happened within the Washington Commanders organization and how allegations were handled by the NFL in order to inform legislative efforts to make workplaces safe for everyone," the statement continues.Attorney Beth Wilkinson led a 10-month independent investigation into the team's workplace culture after several women alleged there was widespread sexual harassment at the team. Wilkinson was initially hired by the Commanders but the NFL then took over the investigation. Following Wilkinson's findings, the team was fined $10 million last summer. But a full written report has not been released publicly. The NFL has said Wilkinson provided a verbal report to protect the identities of some people who participated.Both the Commanders and the NFL had until midnight Monday to provide the House committee additional documents related to the investigation, according to The Washington Post.However, the NFL and team officials were at odds over the release of the documents. In a letter last week to the Oversight Committee, the NFL said the team blocked access to more than 100,000 documents, ESPN reports.A House committee spokesperson said in a statement to NPR that it had received the letter from the League, but as the documents released early this month in the investigation show, the NFL and the Washington Commanders entered into an agreement to pursue a "joint legal strategy" regarding the investigation. The strategy gives the Commanders the power to block the NFL from releasing documents and vice versa."Until the NFL holds Mr. Snyder accountable and stops hiding the truth about the outrageous workplace conduct under his watch, the League's claims about transparency and accountability will continue to ring hollow," the committee statement said.The committee did not go into detail regarding the number of pages the NFL has turned over nor the specific nature of documents that were given.News of the document turnover from the League is the latest in a months-long string of investigations of employee harassment and mistreatment under the leadership of the team's owner, Daniel Snyder.Last week, the NFL announced it will conduct a new investigation of claims regarding sexual misconduct by Snyder that were not covered in Wilkinson's probe.Former team cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston said during a congressional roundtable earlier this month that during a work dinner, Snyder placed his hand on her thigh under the table and later pushed her aggressively toward his limo and asked her to ride with him.Johnston worked for the team for eight years until 2008.The Commanders first said the team would hire lawyers to investigate Johnston's allegations, but hours later the NFL said the team "would not control the probe.""I do not see any way that a team can do its own investigation of itself," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week.Some fans of the Washington Commanders are calling for Snyder to sell the team in light of the allegations.A Maryland woman created a website, Boycott Dan, for fans to send emails to corporate sponsors asking them to cut all ties with the Washington Commanders and Snyder, according to WUSA9. Medliminal, LLC, a medical billing compliance company based in Manassas, Va., has already cut ties with the Commanders because of its allegations, according to WUSA9. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.