Two dozen women described experiencing bullying, harassment and fear during their time working for the Washington N.F.L. team, according to a report published Wednesday by The Washington Post. The women described an office culture where managers were unwilling or unable to hold front office executives accountable for abusive behavior.
Tiffany Bacon Scourby, a former cheerleader, accused the team owner Daniel Snyder of propositioning her to join his close friend in a hotel room. Brad Baker, a former staff member who worked for the team’s former play-by-play announcer and senior vice president, Larry Michael, said that at Snyder’s behest Michael made a lewd video recording of the outtakes of a cheerleader photo shoot.
The report came on the heels of an article published by the newspaper last month in which 15 women said they faced pervasive sexual harassment while employed by the team. A number of front office executives, including Michael, resigned or were fired in the days surrounding the report’s release.
Snyder has not spoken publicly about the issues raised in the articles, relying instead on formal statements, including one released on Wednesday in which he denied many elements of The Post’s reporting, including the proposition allegation. “I want to unequivocally state that this never happened,” Snyder said. He also denied knowing about any video recordings, saying, “I did not request their creation and I never saw them.” He said he believed them to be either “unauthorized or fraudulent.”
Snyder said that the new article was his first time hearing of these women’s accusations.
The statement on Wednesday went further than Snyder’s previous comments after the July article. In the wake of the first report, Snyder hired the law firm Wilkinson Walsh to investigate the claims raised by the women and disavowed the behavior they described as having “no place in our franchise or society.”
This time, Snyder reiterated that stance but added, “I take full responsibility for the culture of our organization.” He went on to say that he had been operating the team at a remove and vowed to be more involved in its running, noting that he had hired several new executives to change the team’s culture on and off the field.
Still, Snyder pushed back at The Post, claiming that the article was “riddled with questionable and unnamed sources” and describing it as a “hit job.” He claimed that there were former team employees willing to speak on the record to dispute some of the women’s claims, but that they were not included in the story.
Roger Goodell, the N.F.L. commissioner, also released a statement in response to the new accusations. “We strongly condemn the unprofessional, disturbing and abhorrent behavior and workplace environment alleged in the report which is entirely inconsistent with our standards and has no place in the N.F.L.,” he said.