The Washington Post dropped its highly anticipated article on the toxic culture behind the Washington NFL team formerly known as the Redskins, and the team’s former marketing coordinator, Emily Applegate, was one of the 15 women speaking out to accuse multiple members of the administration of sexual and verbal abuse.
Applegate, 31, according to her LinkedIn account, served as Washington’s marketing coordinator from December 2014 to August 2015. That one year and seven months, she told The Washington Post, was “the most miserable experience of my life.”
What Applegate believed would be her dream job — planning and executing VIP events for marketing partners, training camp access, golf tournaments and away game travel for the D.C.-based team — turned out to be a nightmare. Out of the 15 women who spoke to The Washington Post of the sexual assault allegations, Applegate was the only one to reveal her identity.
Applegate said she’s speaking out now because “I needed to keep my job. When it comes down to it, 98% of people make decisions on stuff like this based on needing to keep their jobs … which is why this stuff goes on for so long.”
Here’s what you need to know about Emily Applegate:
1. Applegate Specifically Calls out Mitch Gershman, Her Former Boss, for Sexual & Verbal Abuse in the Washington Post’s Article
In Thursday’s article, which included interviews with more than 40 current and former employees, Applegate boldly spoke of her experiences of sexual assault concerning Mitch Gershman, Washington’s former chief operating officer. She remembered him calling her “f****** stupid,” and insisting she wore tight clothes “so the men in room have something to look at.”
“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,” she told the Post. Applegate said Gershman “routinely berated her for trivial problems such as printer malfunctions while also complimenting her body,” an account that was corroborated by two other former female employees.
“He would tell me I was stupid for not being able to print something out the way he wanted, and directly follow with, ‘Oh, did you run extra yesterday, you look really good,’” Applegate said.
In a text message exchange shared with the Washington Post, Applegate asked Gershman about his plan for an upcoming sales meeting. He responded, “Not part of it. No worries. Go find a dude!!” to which she texted back, “Rude.”
Gershman has denied Applegate’s allegations. He told the Post, “I barely even remember who she is. I thought the Redskins was a great place to work. … I would apologize to anyone who thought that I was verbally abusive.”
2. Applegate Also Accuses Dennis Greene of Sexual Abuse
On Dennis Greene, the team’s former president of business operations, Applegate said, “He made a comment about how great I looked in these leggings because they were so tight. That was actually the only time Mitch said something like, ‘Dennis, you can’t say something like that.’”
Numerous women speak out against green in the Post’s article. One saleswoman, who worked for Washington between 2005 to 2010, said that Greene, on numerous occasions, offered to connect her with a plastic surgeon if she wanted to get her breasts augmented.
Greene allegedly mentioned that he knew a doctor who had performed several procedures for the team’s cheerleaders. He told her that he could “get her a great rate.” The former saleswoman said, “Reducing a young woman to thinking that she can only do her job well if she wears a certain thing or exposes part of her body is demeaning. It puts women in their place.”
After 17 years of working with Washington, Greene stepped down in 2018 after being accused of selling access to team cheerleaders as part of the premium suite packages.
3. Applegate Currently Lives in New Jersey to Help Out With Her Family’s Restaurant Amid Coronavirus
After working for Washington, Applegate relocated to Texas but continued to work in the world of sports. From 2015 to 2018, she worked as the senior sales and service ticket representative at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2019, she became an on-air personality and assistant producer of the Tailgate Country on The Horn show, which airs on 104.9 and AM 1260.
Based on her Facebook profile, Applegate has since returned to her hometown of New Jersey and is helping out with her family’s restaurant, 33’s Tavern, which is located in South River. She previously worked at the restaurant between 2009 and 2014 as a manager.
On March 26, Applegate wrote on Facebook that 33’s Tavern was taking all the necessary steps to safely reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak. She said:
Want to announce that my family’s bar, 33’s Tavern, will be open for to-go orders this Friday for everyone’s favorite fish fry! Secondly, would like to ask everyone in the world to show kindness at this time and not spread hate or stupidity. Thirdly, if you know anything about my mother, you know she’s a clean freak so to call the business or any of our customers nasty would be far from the truth. Wishing the best for everyone at this time! Stay safe! Stay healthy!
4. Applegate Spent 2 Years Volunteering as a Sexual Assault Advocate at SafePlace & Is Looking Forward to Attending Law School
After graduating from South River High School in New Jersey, Applegate stayed local to study at Centenary University before earning her degree in Business Marketing and Communications at Kean University. Before she started working for Washington’s NFL team, Applegate worked as a research assistant at Rutgers.
After leaving her job in Washington, Applegate worked as a volunteer at SafePlace, where, according to her LinkedIn, she “served as an advocate to survivors to assist them in better understanding their rights, forensic exams, and next steps.”
Applegate has no desire to ever work in sports again. The former Washington employee told the Post that she’s preparing to take the LSATs this week and is looking forward to one day attending law school.
5. None of the Women in the Post’s Article, Including Applegate, Accuse Snyder or Bruce Allen of Sexual Abuse
In response to the Post’s article Dan Snyder, the majority owner of Washington’s NFL team, declined to comment. The D.C. franchise, however, has hired attorney Beth Wilkinson and her firm, Wilkinson Walsh, to “conduct a thorough independent review of this entire matter and help the team set new employee standards for the future.”
“The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously. … 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 team said.
None of the women in the article, including Applegate, accuse Snyder or former team president Bruce Allen of physical assault. Applegate said, “I would assume Bruce [Allen] knew because he sat 30 feet away from me … and saw me sobbing at my desk several times every week.” Allen declined to comment on the allegations.
The Post also noted that many of the women blamed an “understaffed human resources department” and a “sophomoric culture” in the Washington front office that allowed executives to treat their employees in this manner.
The following Washington employees have been fired amid reports of these allegations: Alex Santos, the team’s director of pro personnel, and Richard Mann II, assistant director of pro personnel.