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House Oversight Committee to Meet With Ex-WFT Staff Members to Discuss Workplace Misconduct, Sexual Harassment

The House Oversight Committee announced Thursday that it will hold a “hybrid roundtable” with several former Washington Football Team employees to discuss “workplace misconduct and the NFL's failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the Washington Football Team under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder,” next week, per an official release. 

The former employees who are said to be participating include Emily Applegate, the team's former marketing coordinator and ticket sales representative; Melanie Coburn, a former cheerleader and former director of marketing; Rachel Engleson, a former intern and later director of marketing and client relations; Ana Nunez, former coordinator of business development and client services; and Brad Baker, a former video production manager.

No representatives from the team or the NFL are currently expected to attend the discussion, which is set for next Thursday.

“The NFL has one of the most prominent platforms in America and the lack of transparency about its handling of decades-long allegations of harassment and discrimination within one of its teams sets a dangerous precent for other workplaces,” the Oversight Committee said in its release.

Committee chair Rep. Carol Maloney, D-N.Y., will lead the roundtable and allow all members of the committee who want to participate a chance to question the former employees.

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The roundtable discussion will be streamed on YouTube and on the committee's website. It comes as a number of former employees have been critical in recent months of the league's handling of the probe into the Football Team, which did not produce a public written report. 

Instead, after the team was investigated following allegations of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment within the franchise, the NFL provided only a brief summary of the findings and levied a $10 million fine against the team. Owner Daniel Snyder also agreed to temporarily cede control of the team to his wife, Tanya. 

The investigation was brought on after the Washington Post reported that female employees of the team experienced sexual harassment in 2020. And later WFT cheerleaders claimed to have been secretly videotaped while getting undressed, and reached a settlement with the team

In a statement to ESPN on Thursday, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said, “We continue to cooperate with the committee. Out of respect for the ongoing process and the committee, we will decline further comment.”

In October, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Player's Association, told USA Today Sports' Mike Jones that the NFLPA also plans on petitioning the NFL to release the findings of the investigation. The NFL later told The Athletic that it had no plans of releasing any other emails reviewed during its investigation. 

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