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Mark Davis Says Raiders Investigated Claims of Hostile Workplace Culture

Raiders owner Mark Davis officially responded to the claims regarding him creating “a hostile work environment,” first alleged by former team president Dan Ventrelle back in May. 

Ventrelle said once he complained about Davis and the work environment, he was fired.

The Raiders announced their new team president Thursday, Sandra Douglass Morgan, who becomes the first Black woman to take this role in NFL history. On the same day, Davis spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the team’s internal investigation surrounding the allegations made against him.

“The culture of this organization for me is so important,” Davis said. “Since the articles that came out, not only in The New York Times, but the [Review-Journal] ... I take those very seriously. So we did an investigation into all those things and we listened to the people who work in the organization, and I believe we started to make those changes that are necessary to get the culture back to where we feel we can all be positive.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in February that teams could not investigate themselves, per ProFootballTalk. This quote is in reference to the ongoing Commanders investigation, but it could relate to the Raiders’ situation now, too. Davis did not go into details as to how the organization conducted the investigation.

More claims came out in a report by The New York Times shortly after Ventrelle came forward. Nicole Adams, a former Raiders human resources employee, released various details about her time working under Davis’s leadership. She admitted that “if anyone complained, they were let go.” This statement refers to the continuing changes in the Raiders’ front office.

Davis commented on the constant moving in the organization, claiming that people began to be “replaceable.”

“We were beginning to be more corporate in the organization where a title was more important than the person that was wearing the title,” Davis said. “It got to the point where people could be replaceable. ‘We can get [a senior vice president] for this anywhere.’ That’s never been what the Raiders organization has been about. It’s always been about the people first and family. ... We never really got to start the Las Vegas Raiders with a culture that had momentum.”

Regarding Morgan’s hiring, Adams, who is Black, had mixed feelings about the announcement.

“I think it’s a wonderful step that [Davis] is taking towards trying to improve the team’s image, but hiring the first-ever Black female president doesn’t necessarily mean that things will change,” Adams said. “I just hope that the new president is the person who is truly going to improve the culture of the team, and not just a figurehead put in place to take the heat off of them.”

Over the past year, organizational figures have continued to leave the team—highlighted by former coach Jon Gruden’s resignation after emails surfaced of him using misogynistic, homophobic and racist language. Gruden is currently suing the NFL, claiming the league “orchestrated” the release of the emails.

It’s not yet known whether the NFL has launched its own investigation on the allegations against Davis and the hostile workplace culture. When Ventrelle’s statements originally were released, the NFL said they would “promptly look into the matter.”