UPDATED 7/17, 10:35 a.m. ET: First-year Washington coach Ron Rivera has responded to the bombshell report, telling ESPN's John Keim via text that changes would be made.
"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 said. "Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!"
Owner Dan Snyder made an official statement condemning the behavior detailed in the Washington Post’s investigative piece, declaring, “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 Rivera earlier this year.”
Snyder added, “[Attorney] 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.”
On Friday morning, the NFL released the following statement:
See original post below.
The report, penned by Will Hobson and Liz Clarke, focused on 15 former female Redskins employees who claim they were verbally abused and/or sexually harassed while working for the organization. Emily Applegate was the only accuser to speak on the record; the other 14 chose to remain anonymous, as they feared legal consequences for violating their nondisclosure agreements.
"It was the most miserable experience of my life," said Applegate, 31, who began working for the Redskins' marketing department in 2014. "And we all tolerated it, because we knew if we complained — and they reminded us of this — there were 1,000 people out there who would take our job in a heartbeat."
The alleged harassment and abuse occurred under Dan Snyder's ownership, between 2006 to 2019. The accusations include unwelcome advances and inappropriate remarks, such as commenting on physical appearance and requesting the women "to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients to close sales deals."
Among those accused in the story are Redskins former director of pro personnel Alex Santos and former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, both of whom were fired over the weekend. Former president of business operations Dennis Greene, former chief operating officer, Mitch Gershman, and the team's longtime radio voice Larry Michael were also accused of misconduct; the latter announced his retirement Wednesday, shortly after he declined the Post's interview request.
Snyder and former Redskins president Bruce Allen were not hit with any allegations; however, some of the women "expressed skepticism" that the execs were unaware of the alleged harassment.
"I would assume Bruce [Allen] knew, because he sat 30 feet away from me," Applegate said, "... and saw me sobbing at my desk several times every week."
The franchise told the Post it has hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to review the matter and help establish "new employee standards for the future."
"The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously …," the team said in a statement. "While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly."
The report comes shortly after the team announced it would finally change its name, which has long been criticized as racist. Amid all the controversy, it was reported that minority shareholders were looking to sell their stake and have already hired an investment bank to search for potential buyers.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter: