Washington's NFL team has hired lawyers to investigate allegations of sexual harassment brought by 15 women who worked for the team and two reporters. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
July 17 (UPI) -- Dan Snyder, owner of Washington's NFL team, said Friday that behavior described in a report that cited allegations of sexual harassment byteam executives against female employees "has no place" in the franchise.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15 former female employees and two reporters were sexually harassed by former male executives from 2006 to 2019. The team has retained D.C.-based law firm Wilkinson Walsh to review the matter.
"The behavior described in yesterday's Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society," Snyder said.
"This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.
"Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations.
"Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all."
The NFL said Friday it will take action after the Washington team's lawyers investigate the allegations.
"These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values," the statement said. "Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment.
"Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so.
"We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on their findings."
Coach Rivera, who was hired Jan. 1, said in a statement Thursday that he would not "allow any of this."
Rivera's daughter, Courtney Rivera, was hired in March to work in the team's social media department.
"We're trying to create a new culture here," Rivera said. "We're hoping to get people to understand that they need to judge us on where we are and where we're going, as opposed to where we've been.
"[The] 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."
Rivera added: "Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this! Dan Snyder brought me here to change culture and create an environment of inclusion among employees. I believe everyone that works for this franchise has a vested interest in our success."
Washington, which has not announced a new team name after dropping the brand for insensitivity to Native Americans, and the other 31 NFL teams are scheduled to report to training camp later this month.
Washington's former nickname was absent from Friday's statement from Snyder, the first time it hasn't appeared on a news release since the franchise said it would retire the nickname Monday.