Revelations of a potentially pervasive toxic environment within the Washington Redskins franchise means the Dan Snyder-owned team might be losing more than its offensive name if the NFL has anything to do with it.
A day after the Washington Post published a scathing exposé of 15 female former Redskins employees who have accused the organization of sexual harassment and fostering a culture of abuse, the Roger Goodell-led league finally has stepped on the field, and it sounds like the clock is ticking on the future of the team under its current ownership — maybe
As you can see in the tweet below, the increasingly conscientious league calls the allegations “serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values” and, in typical pass-the-buck fashion, promises to take “action” down the line:
— NFL (@NFL) July 17, 2020
Essentially, besides the PR move, the NFL’s playbook right now is to defer to the probe of D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson, who the Redskins brought on board Thursday to counter the scandal and accusations. Because if we’ve learned anything over the past few years, when scandal strikes, it is best to take direction from the investigator paid for by the accused … obviously not.
These allegations of vile behavior on the part of former team executives come as the long-stubborn Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera promised earlier this week to find a new name and logo for the Redskins. What that new name and logo will be is TBA.
Regardless of the new name and logo and the fact that Snyder isn’t directly named as having sexually harassed staffers, this latest scandal could allow the NFL under league bylaws to force Snyder out from the ownership of the D.C. team he has owned since 1999. Whether the far-from-wit-out-sin NFL would want to make that Hail Mary and face the obvious protracted legal defense from Valkyrie EP Snyder also is TBA.
Today, the owner began his own PR plea to take control of the scandal.
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said in a statement. “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.”
The scandal also comes as the NFL is trying to buff up its image in terms of racial and social justice. After kneecapping the career of one-time San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick over his protests against injustice and bowing to pressure from the likes of Donald Trump to halt players taking a knee, the league now is saying it’s sorry and promising to do better.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said in a video posted on social media on June 5, following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis cops and the protests and outrage against racism and police violence.
“It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, Black people in our country,” the NFL boss added, followed as much of the country was starting to come out of COVID-19 lockdown. “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality.”
As part of the blueprint toward being a better league, the NFL announced on July 2 that the unofficial Black National Anthem of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” will be performed live or played via a recording before every Week 1 game. As coronavirus cases surge again in America, the 2020-21 season is penciled in to start on September 10 with defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs playing home against the Houston Texans – maybe.