NFL Denies WFT Workplace Culture Report Recommended Forcing Daniel Snyder Sale

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2021

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, file photo, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder listens to head coach Ron Rivera during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility, in Ashburn, Va. A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press the NFL has taken over the independent investigation into workplace conduct within the Washington Football Team. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The National Football League denied speculation it received a recommendation from Beth Wilkinson, the attorney hired to investigate the Washington Football Team's workplace culture, that owner Daniel Snyder should be forced to sell the franchise.

"Absolutely false. We have received no such report," an NFL spokesperson told Mike Jones of USA Today.

The Sports Junkies, a radio show on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., reported earlier Friday it obtained documents that appeared to show correspondence between Wilkinson and commissioner Roger Goodell that included the recommendation: "force the owner to divest his ownership of the team."

Short of forcing Snyder to sell, the report was alleged to have suggested the WFT owner be suspended for a "significant period to allow the club time to repair its infrastructure and culture," according to The Sports Junkies.

The report also "confirmed" Wilkinson has provided her final findings to Goodell. The league denied it has received a 130-page review from the investigation, per CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones.

An independent investigation into the Washington Football Team was launched after a pair of Washington Post articles last summer about the club's alleged toxic workplace.

The first article provided stories from 15 women who previously worked in the organization, which detailed how "sexual harassment and verbal abuse" were regular occurrences.

One month later, a second article featured allegations secret, lewd videos were recorded from a cheerleader photoshoot in order for the footage to be shared with Snyder, and provided the following conclusion:

"But interviews with more than 100 current and former employees and a review of internal company documents and other records show that, in his 21 years of ownership, Snyder has presided over an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, discriminated against and exploited. The employees also described an atmosphere in which bullying and demeaning behavior by management created a climate of fear that allowed abusive behavior to continue unchecked."

The Washington Football Team released a statement following the second article in August:

Washington Football Team @WashingtonNFL


It came as the franchise went through a rebrand after dropping its former nickname, which was viewed as racist toward Native Americans, in July.

Snyder has owned the Washington Football Team since May 1999. In August, Andrew Beaton and Cara Lombardo of the Wall Street Journal reported the club's minority partners, Fred Smith, Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar, were "pressuring" him to sell the majority stake.

The 56-year-old Maryland native has so far given no indication he's interested in selling the team, though.