New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Illinois Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, requesting they appear before the committee at a hearing next month.
The June 22 hearing counts as the next step in the committee’s monthslong investigation into the Commanders’ allegedly hostile workplace culture.
Committee members said they also will examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the league’s role in setting and enforcing standards across football, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across all workplaces.
“Since we launched our investigation in October, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, to hold accountable those responsible, and to better protect workers across the country,” Maloney said in a news release. “The Committee has worked tirelessly to obtain critical information, including the findings of the internal investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, only to be met with obstruction from the Commanders and the NFL at every turn.
“We must have transparency and accountability, which is why we are calling on Mr. Goodell and Mr. Snyder to answer the questions they have dodged for the last seven months,” she said. “The hearing will explore how Congress can act to prevent employers from silencing victims of workplace misconduct and ensure that what happened at the Commanders organization does not happen again.”
Krishnamoorthi said the NFL and the Commanders have stonewalled the committee with various tools, including non-disclosure agreements, to evade accountability.
“Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues,” Krishnamoorthi said.
On Oct. 21, Maloney and Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to Goodell requesting all documents related to the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, including her investigative findings.
On Nov. 5, the pair released a statement calling on the NFL and the Commanders to release all individuals from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about Daniel Snyder and the “Commanders’ toxic work environment.”
The chairs issued another statement in December following a report they said detailed Snyder’s efforts to obstruct the internal investigation.
On Feb. 3, the committee held a roundtable with several former Commanders employees who detailed widespread sexual harassment, abuse, and other workplace misconduct by top executives, including Snyder, and explained that the NFL failed to address these issues.
“At the roundtable, Tiffani Johnston detailed sexual advances [allegedly] made by Mr. Snyder’s at a team dinner,” the chairs stated.
Following the committee’s roundtable, the NFL opened a new investigation into Snyder’s conduct, as well as financial improprieties brought to light by the committee’s investigation.
On Feb. 4, the committee released documents, including a Common Interest Agreement signed by the NFL and the Commanders, and an engagement letter between the Commanders and Ms. Wilkinson’s law firm, which raised questions about the NFL’s purported commitment to independence and transparency in addressing workplace misconduct at the Commanders.
On April 12, the committee sent the Federal Trade Commission troubling evidence of potential financial misconduct by the Commanders, which the committee obtained in the course of its investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and the NFL’s response.
Following the committee’s letter, attorneys general in Virginia and the District of Columbia announced investigations into the team’s conduct.