If the NFL didn't make it clear last season that the Washington Football Team needed a culture change, they swung the hammer hard on Thursday afternoon.
In the recent findings from lawyer Beth Wilkinson, Dan Snyder and WFT have built an environment filled inside with a "toxic" workplace for over two decades. Wilkerson interviewed more than 150 current and former employees, describing the negative impact they have seen during their time in D.C.
This comes nearly a year following The Washington Post story describing the sexual harassment allegations from multiple executives in the building. Less than 12 months later, Snyder and the team has been fined $10 million.
Additionally, Snyder is stepping away from the day-to-day dealings of team for now. That it as of this time. The league could suspend him. They could let him off with a warning.
"I feel great remorse for the people who had difficult, even traumatic, experiences while working here," Snyder said in a statement. "I'm truly sorry for that. I can't turn back the clock, but I promise that nobody who works here will ever have that kind of experience again, at least not as long as Tanya and I are the owners of this team."
Others in the organization have been fired. Some have left on their own terms. Snyder though remains.
"I know that as the owner, I am ultimately responsible for the workplace. I have said that and I say it again," Snyder stated.
Tanya Snyder, Dan’s wife, who was named co-CEO earlier this week, will oversee day-to-day operations and represent the franchise at league functions for the next several months. Dan Snyder will remain behind closed doors, away from functions and out of the spotlight.
For the sake of Washington? Positive movement.
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Last season, Dan Snyder said change was coming. The insensitive nickname was erased. Washington hired Jason Wright, the first African-American to hold the title of WFT team president. WFT also hired Ron Rivera, another person of color, as head coach.
In the hiring of this staff, Washington has taken the steps to become more diverse. Wright and Rivera are two of the important names, joined by others, including Julie Donaldson, who was hired as the senior vice president of media and content.
Yes, all that is fine. Dan Snyder, however, remains in power. Maybe that’s not fine.
The NFL has dealt with something similar to this before. In 2018, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million for sexual harassment issues. Before that revelation, though, Richardson had sold the team to David Tepper for $2.2 billion.
Here? Dan won’t be “the mouth.” But in arguably too many ways, he’ll remain “the face.”
Wright and Rivera — along with others — have tried to steer the ship in the right direction. Things seem to be working.
That could have played in the role in the punishment sent out by the NFL.
"The change has started with Coach Rivera being brought in," Lisa Friel, the NFL's special counsel for investigations said. "I know from both reporting out of Beth and having spoken to people there myself that him being ... the head coach there, really gave people a different feeling about what the culture might become going forward, and certainly Jason. Jason Wright is a man of incredible integrity and quality and the things that we're already aware that he has done there."
For now, the trust is in Rivera and Wright. One season after struggling to build not just a healthy, but also winning culture, WFT returned to the postseason for the first time since 2015. A 7-9 record is hopefully the lead-in to a new chapter.
Snyder is now out of the way in that pursuit. And for now, that's exactly what Washington needs - time for the franchise’s continuing evolution while the sidelines owner contemplates whether he’s capable of the same.
CONTINUE READING: WFT's McLaurin Praises Rivera And Smith For 'No Sorry-For-Me' Attitude