The New York Democrat said Snyder sent private investigators to the homes of former cheerleaders, “offered silent money to buy their silence,” created a “file” of communications from journalists, lawyers and former employees who accused the team of harassment, and tried to blame former team boss Bruce Allen for the team’s problems.
“The NFL was aware of his actions, but failed to stop him,” Maloney said.
Snyder declined to testify at the hearing, but Maloney announced that she intends to issue a subpoena to force her to testify next week. A spokesman for Snyder said the hearing “was little more than a politically charged show trial, not about revealing the truth.”
“It is clear that the outcome of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into Washington’s leaders was predetermined from the start,” a Snyder spokesman said.
Roger Goodell, an NFL commissioner who testified before the committee on Wednesday, said the leaders’ culture “has not only been unprofessional, it’s been toxic for a very long time.”
“It was clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in many ways: bullying, widespread disrespect for colleagues, use of degrading language, public embarrassment and harassment,” Goodell said. “Furthermore, for a long time, leaders have had a woefully incomplete human resource function, particularly in terms of reporting and record-keeping practices.”
But Goodell emphasized that the leaders’ workplace had changed for the better and that Snyder had “faced unprecedented discipline,” including a fine. Snyder has not attended league or committee meetings in the past year, he said, and noted that the leaders put in place an “entirely new, skilled and diverse management team” and “revamped” the cheerleading and leadership program with a mixed dance team. In 2020, the leaders appointed Ron Rivera as the head football coach and Jason Wright as their team captain.
Goodell also said that the team did not receive a written report from Wilkinson in order to preserve the confidentiality of those involved in the internal investigation, but that it could issue a “summary of key findings” in the future “if appropriate.” Illinois Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamurthy suggested that the NFL could issue a detailed report with revised names if necessary.
Republicans said Wednesday that the House Oversight Committee should have spent its time instead on more important national issues — such as rising consumer prices, infant formula shortages, records for illegal border crossings, fentanyl overdoses or a deteriorating stock market — and focus About investigating the federal government rather than the private sector. Maloney said the committee has the authority to investigate “anything and everything,” leading at least one Republican lawmaker to say they’ll remember that next year, when the Republican Party would prefer to retake the House.
“This committee has failed the American people,” said Jim Comer, Republican of Kentucky.
Maloney disputed this, noting that attorneys general in six states reported to the NFL in April their “serious concerns” about allegations of workplace harassment of women and minorities and that the NFL had launched a new investigation based on the commission’s work.
The NFL has hired former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Jo White to investigate an allegation of sexual harassment against Snyder by former employee Tiffany Johnston, a former cheerleader and the team’s marketing director. Johnston told the congressional committee that the captain’s owner had put his hand on her leg under the table at a business dinner and tried to get her into his limousine. Snyder denied Johnston’s allegations.
“Some have said that protecting women is not worth this committee’s time,” Maloney said. “I am vehemently opposed.” “For more than two decades, Dan Snyder has refused to protect the women who worked for him from the toxic culture he created. 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 said she has introduced two bills to “ensure that employers like Dan Snyder cannot abuse nondisclosure agreements to silence employees — nor can they film their employees” and use the footage without their consent. Goodell said he supported the intent of the bills.
“Conceptually, we definitely support it, and we’d be happy to work with your employees,” Goodell said.
According to Maloney, Snyder was invited to appear before the committee on Wednesday but was out of the country.
“We also invited Daniel Snyder to testify today. But instead of showing up and taking responsibility for his actions, he chose to skip town,” Maloney said. “Apparently, Mr. Snyder is in France, where he moored his luxury yacht near a tourist resort. This should tell you how much he respects women in the workplace.”
Snyder’s attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, said the leader’s owner was willing to cooperate, but the committee was not “willing to consider a change of hearing date,” according to the four-page letter obtained by CNN.
“The committee also stated that it was not willing to consider changing the hearing date, even though Mr. Snyder has a long-running commercial dispute relating to the leaders and is out of the country on the first and only date proposed by the committee,” the letter said. “Instead, the committee insisted on a yes or no response from Mr. Snyder on whether he would attend the hearing on time.”
Asked by Maloney what “specific steps” the NFL would take to hold Snyder accountable for not testifying, Goodell said, “I have no responsibility if he appears before Congress. It’s not my choice. It’s his choice.”
revision: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect day to remarks made by House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney. It was Wednesday.
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