Open Letter From WFT Ex-Employees to Other Co-Workers
I received this letter via Megan Imbert, one of the women that came forward in the latest Washington Post story and allegations about Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team workplace.
The letter below is from a group of ex-employees and is designed to appeal to other former employees to come forward.
An open letter to our former Washington Football Team co-workers:
We are writing this letter not as representatives of any law firm or legal body, but as a group of your former WFT co-workers and friends in pursuit of one thing: the truth. Recent weeks have seen a continued outpouring of stories that paint a picture of the WFT that many of us who worked there were already well aware of: a toxic culture of brazen and institutionalized disrespect, misogyny, sexual harassment and worse that has gone unchecked for more than two decades under the ownership of Dan Snyder.
Recent evidence of clandestine cheerleader outtakes videos — complete with unintended nudity and allegedly ordered for the grotesque amusement of top executives and the owner himself — has exposed even greater depths of depravity within the Snyder-led organization.
We know there are those of you out there who can help bring to light the truth about these videos, including who ultimately ordered their creation. We also know that a mixture of fear, shame and embarrassment may well be preventing you from coming forward. While we can never condone the decision to take part in the making of these videos, we understand that it’s not always easy to make the right choices when you feel your job is on the line, when you feel pressure not just from a boss but from the weight of an entire organizational culture that seems to offer no support for dissent and few off-ramps from an endless highway of bad options.
We are offering you that off-ramp now, no matter where you ranked in the organization’s hierarchy. Even if you took part in the creation of these videos, even if you’ve already provided false statements, we implore you to find your courage, recalibrate your moral compass, and share what you know. Share the truth.
If you did help create those videos, think about how little the person behind that order must have thought of you, your reputation and a hard-earned skill set you took pride in to have put you in such a morally bankrupt position. Yes, you had a choice, and yes, you chose poorly. You made a mistake. But you still have a chance to make amends for that mistake.
Please understand: The videos exist, and they are in the hands of people who are ready to pursue civil and potentially criminal investigations into who created them and — most importantly — who ordered their creation. Willingly or unwillingly, the truth will come out. Telling the truth now might bring short-term discomfort, but the consequences of continued lies and/or the withholding of information — especially when the truth is revealed in a court of law — will be far-reaching and lifelong.
Some of you may have children — even daughters — of your own. Consider this irony: You worked for a man who didn’t want you to look him in the eye. Are you comfortable with the very real possibility that you may no longer be able to look your own children in the eyes, knowing that you’ve either lied or withheld information about this exploitation and abuse of other daughters? Is that a burden you want to carry?
A legacy you want to leave behind? You might have been part of the problem, but there’s still time to be part of the solution. There’s still time to find forgiveness and reclaim respect while demonstrating the strength it takes to admit a mistake, own it and make amends for it. That time, however, is finite.
If you’re ready to stake your claim on the right side of history, we implore you to reach out to the Wilkinson Walsh law firm, which is currently conducting an independent investigation into the WFT on behalf of the NFL. They will speak with you in confidence, they will listen and they will respect your privacy. On Monday, Snyder agreed to release people from any NDA for purpose of speaking to the investigators at Wilkinson Walsh. Visit https://www.wilkinsonwalsh.com/ for contact information.
You owe it first and foremost to the women and their families who’ve been negatively affected by these videos to do the right thing. But you also owe it to the people who love and admire you (which may include us). You also owe it to yourself.
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Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621