Larry Michael is a former broadcaster for the Washington Redskins. On July 15, he announced the decision to step down after 16 years with the team. His retirement came amid a series of changes within the club and media speculations about the trouble that the franchise is facing.
The Redskins fired two longtime members of their front office, Alex Santos and Richard Mann II. A day later, they announced the decision to retire their name and logo, following pressure from sponsors and a longtime call for change.
After speculations about a “bombshell report” involving the franchise began circulating, the Washington Post reported on July 16 that 15 former female employees alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former team employees. Michael, along with Santos and Mann, all of whom are members of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s inner circle, are among those who were accused.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Michael Is Accused Of Inappropriate Workplace Conduct
Exclusive: Fifteen women who worked for Redskins allege sexual harassment by former scouts and members of owner Daniel Snyder’s inner circle https://t.co/MwMTOFupF9
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 16, 2020
According to the Washington Post, seven former staffers, both males and females, accused Michael of constantly discussing the physical appearance of their female counterparts in “sexual and disparaging overtones.”
His suggestive remarks about female colleagues, four former employees told the Post, had created an increasingly uncomfortable environment in the workplace.
A former male staffer said this during an interview with the Post:
It was always objectifying; it was always derogatory. … I wouldn’t even know what to do. I would just shake it off.
We’re all just afraid for our jobs and trying to make it.
The staffer said that Michael once commented on a young female colleague’s “tight ass” during a training camp in 2017. A female employee told the Washington Post that Michael had squeezed this woman’s face years earlier and said she was “so cute.”
In 2018, he was recorded talking about the attractiveness of a female intern during the filming of a team video, six former employees told the Washington Post. A former staffer who heard the recording said that it was “disgusting.”
Michael declined the Washington Post’s interview request.
2. Michael Was the ‘Voice of the Washington Redskins’ & Recently Retired
One day before the aforementioned allegations, the play-by-play announcer said he was “on to the next chapter” and was retiring from his position with the team after 16 years, according to ESPN reporter John Keim.
"I want to thank everyone who contributed over the years. I’m especially grateful to Dan Snyder for giving me the opportunity. On to the next chapter.”
— John Keim (@john_keim) July 15, 2020
On a bio page that has been taken down, the Redskins described him as the “Voice of the Washington Redskins,” according to Hogs Haven. He hosted the “Redskins Nation” show on NBC Sports Washington, as well as a weekly show with the head coach.
The Washington Post said that Michael joined the Redskins in 2004, replacing Frank Herzog. He started as a pregame and postgame host and gradually worked his way up. Before his departure, he also served as the Redskins’ Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President.
3. Michael Changed His Major & Spent Five and a Half Years Finishing College
Michael graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in radio television and film, his LinkedIn profile shows.
However, it took Michael five and a half years to finish college because he changed majors, which he said during the podcast Our Town With Host Andy Ockershausen in 2017.
He was originally a law enforcement major, but a friend told him there was a need for people at the campus radio station, WMUC. He began broadcasting basketballs on campus, he told Andy Ockershausen, and changed his major to radio television and film.
“It literally changed my life,” Michael said in the podcast.
He also said that he didn’t have “the greatest grades” but back then, the university, which he called “the Harvard at the Mid-Atlantic” during the interview, still took him in.
4. Michael Almost Became a Master Control Director
While he was still in college, Michael once interviewed for a job at WMAR-TV in Baltimore under the recommendation of his professor. But he also found a part-time job that would allow him to cover the PGA Tour, according to Our Town With Host Andy Ockershausen.
“So one was a real job, one was an adventure. I took that adventure,” he told Ockershausen in the podcast that he took the part-time job at Mutual Radio and covered pro golf. He also talked about this experience during an interview with Northern Virginia:
I got to go on a PGA tour as a stringer.
I didn’t want to be a director, a technical-side guy. I traveled all the around the country making $25 a day.
In his career, Michael also covered the Olympics, the Super Bowl and boxing. But he was best known for being the Redskins’ lead play-by-play broadcaster.
“Larry is a true professional,” Dave Johnson, news director at WTOP radio, told Northern Virginia.
5. Michael Was Born in Chicago But Considers Silver Spring, Maryland His Hometown
Michael’s parents were immigrants from Sparta, Greece, and were “100%” Spartans, he said in the podcast Our Town With Host Andy Ockershausen. His brother was born in Greece too, while Michael was born in Chicago.
When he was two years old, his family moved to Washington, D.C. from Chicago, then Silver Spring, Maryland one year later. He grew up in a house right behind a bar named the Corner Pub, where he thought his schoolmates still went, he told Ockershausen.
Michael attended the Greek Orthodox Church and two churches he regularly went to in Washington D.C. were Saint Sophia and Saints Constantine & Helen, he said in the interview.
Even though he was born in Chicago, Michael said he considered Silver Spring his hometown.
According to Northern Virginia Magazine, Michael is married and has three children.
READ MORE: Learn More About The Redskins Scandal