Last month, Snyder, whose wife, Tanya, is co-owner of the Commanders, hired bankers to explore various options for selling some or all of the franchise, which has been valued at $5.6 billion.
A Toxic Environment
The troubles at the team came to a head in July 2020 when The Washington Post published a story detailing the toxic environment at the club, citing interviews with more than a dozen women who said they were sexually harassed while working there. Snyder hired Beth Wilkinson, a Washington-based lawyer, to investigate the allegations, but the league took over oversight.
Wilkinson was initially asked to prepare a written report at the end of the investigation and prepared written evidence as part of four status briefings to the league while the investigation was in progress, according to the committee’s report. Goodell decided in October 2020 to have her present her final findings only verbally.
In November 2020, the Commanders’ former general counsel sued to block Wilkinson from using nonpublic documents that implicated Snyder in paying a settlement in 2009 to a former team employee who accused him of sexual misconduct during a flight on his private jet.
The team, the committee said, did not report the nature of the former employee’s allegations to the N.F.L. until 2020, during the league’s investigation, and the team refused to release her from a nondisclosure agreement in an attempt to prevent her from speaking about the incident to investigators, though she eventually did.
When Wilkinson’s investigation concluded in July 2021, the N.F.L. released only a brief summary of the inquiry’s findings. The league claimed that the decision was made to protect the privacy of some of the former team employees who spoke to Wilkinson.
Goodell concluded the league’s inquiry by releasing a statement saying that Wilkinson had found that for many years the workplace environment at the team, particularly for women, was “highly unprofessional” and that employees were bullied and intimidated amid a culture of fear. Numerous female employees, Goodell said, were sexually harassed.