15 former female employees of the Washington franchise have come forward with claims of sexual harassment, according to The Washington Post. 14 of the 15 women requested to be anonymous with the lone exception being Emily Applegate. Many of the women had non-disclosures preventing them from speaking.
The allegations raised by Applegate and others — running from 2006 to 2019 — span most of Snyder’s tenure as owner and fall into two categories: unwelcome overtures or comments of a sexual nature, and exhortations to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients to close sales deals.
Dan Snyder Under Fire But Not For Sexual Misconduct
None of the 15 women accused Snyder of sexual misconduct, though they did blame him for understaffing the human resource department. There is only one full-time HR person.
“There’s no HR,” said one former veteran female employee who left in 2019. “And there was never a reporting process, nor was one explained to new employees about how you should report something.”
Additionally, there are claims that Snyder didn’t treat top executives fairly, routinely belittling them. There’s a culture of verbal abuse within the organization, the pair of scribes write, and the victims believe it played a role in how those executives treated their employees.
“I have never been in a more hostile, manipulative, passive-aggressive environment … and I worked in politics,” said Julia Payne, who briefly served as vice president of communications for the team in 2003.
Payne added that she did not witness sexual harassment during her brief time with the organization while adding that she could understand why the women didn’t want to go to HR.
“With such a toxic, mood-driven environment, and the owner behaving like he does,” said Payne, “How could anyone think these women would go to HR?”
More Details on the Allegations, Culture in Washington
Senior vice president of content and voice of the team Larry Michael, former director of pro personnel Alex Santos, former assistant director Richard Mann II, former president of business operations Dennis Greene, and former COO Mitch Gershman are being accused of various wrongdoing.
Many of the men declined to comment, though Gershman, whom Applegate claims berated her while making compliments about her body, denied the claims against him.
“I barely even remember who she is,” Gershman said of Applegate. “I thought the Redskins was a great place to work … I would apologize to anyone who thought that I was verbally abusive.”
Three of the men who are accused of inappropriate behavior have recently departed, including Michael and Santos.
The franchise is hired local attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct a formal review. The review was announced prior to The Washington Post article being released, though speculation of this barrel of incriminating news spread throughout the week and several former players, including Josh Norman, were not surprised that the organization was under fire, as Pro Football Action relayed.
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