D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announces during a Nov. 10 press conference in Northwest that his office has filed a consumer-protection civil lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, team owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and league Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announces during a Nov. 10 press conference in Northwest that his office has filed a consumer-protection civil lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, team owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and league Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)

D.C.’s attorney general announced Thursday that his office is suing the Washington Commanders and the NFL for colluding to deceive city residents about an investigation of the team’s workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault in order to maintain a strong fan base and increase profits.

Attorney General Karl A. Racine said the team and league, namely Commanders owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, conspired to give Snyder power to keep any damaging information about the team workplace under wraps.

“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 D.C. residents — all in an effort to protect their profits,” Racine said at a news conference in Northwest. “In D.C., 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.”

The civil suit is the culmination of an investigation dating back to last fall, in which Racine’s office compiled witness testimony and thousands of internal documents from the Commanders and the NFL, including emails.

Megan Imbert, a former employee for the Washington Commanders, speaks out during a Nov. 10 press conference in northwest D.C. announcing the D.C. attorney general’s consumer-protection civil lawsuit against the Commanders, team owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and league Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Marckell Williams/The Washington Informer)

The attorney general’s focus was on accusations of sexual assault by female employees and a workplace that tolerated that type of abuse. Racine said Snyder publicly promised to work with investigators but sought to manipulate the probe to his advantage behind the scenes, aiming to minimize the importance of the sexual harassment and assault accusations.

The attorney general is suing the defendants under the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices. The thrust of the lawsuit is the defendants lied to D.C. fans of the Commanders so they could continue to make money and remain profitable.

The lawsuit doesn’t deal with financial shenanigans recently revealed about the Commanders’ ticket sales. The attorney general’s office seeks financial penalties under the law for every incident in which the defendants lied to D.C. residents dating back to July 2020.

The attorney general’s office seeks a court order forcing the NFL to release the findings from attorney Beth Wilkerson’s 10-month, independent investigation into the Commanders’ workplace culture.  

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