The National Football League (NFL) announced on Thursday that it fined the Washington Football Team $10 million after an independent investigation revealed the outcome of a review about the team’s workplace culture.
The Washington Football Team had been under review by the NFL, which was led by independent counsel Beth Wilkinson, and it was discovered that the club’s workplace had been deemed improper for many years, according to the report.
She was brought on to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into allegations of hostile workplace culture at the franchise. The organization had been accused of bullying and harassment, and Wilkinson had been tasked to make recommendations regarding any remedial measures the club should take based on her findings.
In a written statement Commissioner Roger Goodell said: “I want to thank Beth Wilkinson and her team for conducting a thorough and independent review of the Washington club’s workplace culture and conduct and providing both the club and me with a series of thoughtful recommendations based on her findings. Beth and her team performed their work in a highly professional and ethical manner. Most importantly, I want to thank the current and former employees who spoke to Beth and her team; they provided vital information that will help ensure that the workplace environment at the club continues to improve. It is incredibly difficult to relive painful memories. I am grateful to everyone who courageously came forward.”
Based on the findings, Washington owner Daniel Snyder has released the following statement.
“I have learned a lot in the past few months about how my club operated, and the kind of workplace that we had. It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realize the extent of the problems, or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue. I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace. I have said that and I say it again. I feel great remorse for the people who had difficult, even traumatic, experiences while working here. I’m truly sorry for that. I can’t turn back the clock, but I promise that nobody who works here will ever have that kind of experience again, at least not as long as Tanya and I are the owners of this team.
“Over the last 18 months we have made a lot of changes. We have a new and diverse leadership team, a comprehensive program of training, culture surveys, and employee support, and a commitment to ensuring that every employee of the Washington Football Club comes to a professional and respectful workplace every day. And while there has been real progress, we are not finished, and will continue to improve in every way that we can. I appreciate the people who came forward and intend fully to implement all of the recommendations coming out of the investigation. Going forward, my focus will be on making the Washington Football Team a source of pride to all of its employees, fans and partners, including my partners in the NFL.”
The NFL has also announced that the $10 million fine will be used charitably as it will be applied “to support organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and related topics. They will also fund programs directed more broadly at improving the workplace, particularly for women and other underrepresented groups, and training and development programs throughout the league, with recipients identified with the assistance of respected third-party advisors. We will solicit recommendations from the club, particularly for organizations based in the Washington metropolitan area.”