Washington NFL Owner Dan Snyder Gives Statement on Sexual Harassment Allegations

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2020

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder speaks to the media during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, in Ashburn, Va. The Washington Redskins overhauled their front office Thursday morning, hiring Bruce Allen as general manager after the resignation of Vinny Cerrato.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

Dan Snyder, owner of Washington's NFL franchise, issued a statement after 15 women said they were sexually harassed during their time as team employees by members within the organization. 

In an official press release, Snyder said the "behavior described in yesterday's Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society" and vowed to "institute new policies and procedures" after an independent investigation into the allegations is completed:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From Dan Snyder https://t.co/uoTEFQ071n

Snyder also sent the following letter to members of the organization: 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Here’s the letter that Dan and Tanya Snyder emailed tonight to each member of their organization, per source: https://t.co/R7N65ZM8cs

On Thursday, Will Hobson and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post published a report in which 15 women who worked for Washington between 2006-2019 said they were sexually harassed by other employees of the organization. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Washington hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to "conduct a deep dive into the organization’s past culture" and review organizational protocols.

Head coach Ron Rivera issued a statement about the allegations to ESPN's John Keim after the story was published: "Biggest thing is that we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution. Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!"

Emily Applegate, who started working with Washington in 2014, told the Washington Post about daily instances when she would meet with another female employee to "commiserate and cry about the frequent sexual harassment and verbal abuse they endured." 

Seven employees said radio announcer Larry Michael, who abruptly retired as Washington's play-by-play man Wednesday, would "routinely [discuss] the physical appearance of female colleagues in sexual and disparaging overtones."

Six employees and two reporters said Alex Santos, former director of player personnel, made "inappropriate remarks about their bodies and [asked] them if they were romantically interested in him."

As reported by The Athletic's Ben Standig on July 12, Santos and assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II were fired by the organization. 

In text messages obtained by Hobson and Clarke, Mann told a female employee about conversations he had with coworkers about whether or not she had breast enhancement surgery. He also texted another female employee that she would be receiving an "inappropriate hug ... And don't worry that will be a stapler in my pocket, nothing else."

Snyder wasn't among those alleged to have sexually harassed any of the women, but they did say he would "belittle" employees and contributed to the abusive work environment through his behavior.