WASHINGTON — Congressional representatives are once again urging Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder to appear before the House committee next week and testify to the allegations of workplace misconduct levied against his organization.
On Wednesday, June 22, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will begin a hearing to examine the Commanders' alleged "hostile workplace culture" spanning two decades and the NFL's handling of the allegations. Snyder had previously declined to attend the hearing, citing scheduling conflicts. However, committee leaders say they found no valid reason for Snyder's decision and are asking him to "reconsider."
"I urge Mr. Snyder to reconsider his decision to decline public testimony and by doing so refusing to accept accountability for his actions and the culture he has fostered within his team," committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney wrote in a letter addressed to Snyder's attorney. "Mr. Snyder’s refusal to testify ... would be inconsistent with his repeated commitments to cooperate with the Committee and cast doubt on your assertion that the Commanders are now 'a model of how to make extraordinary improvements in workplace culture.'"
Snyder's attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, had previously written to the House Oversight Committee that Snyder would be unable to testify at the June 22 hearing because he would be out of the country.
"Despite months of Mr. Snyder’s cooperation, the Oversight Committee refused to afford the same respect and courtesy by declining multiple reasonable requests surrounding a potential appearance by Mr. Snyder," Seymour wrote.
Seymour said Snyder would continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, provided "certain concerns" were addressed.
In her most recent letter, Maloney insisted Snyder was given three weeks' notice of the hearing, which she said "exceeds the Committee’s customary practice." She also said Snyder was told he could appear remotely.
"Mr. Snyder has not identified any scheduling challenges that would prevent him from testifying before the Committee while out of the country," Maloney wrote. "Nor has Mr. Snyder asserted that he is unable to return to the United States prior to the hearing, should he prefer to testify in person."
Maloney set a deadline of 9 a.m. Monday for Snyder and his legal team to respond, and is offering additional accommodations to convince the team's owner to testify.
"If Mr. Snyder commits, in writing, to appear at the hearing on June 22, the Committee is willing to provide Mr. Snyder and his counsel, prior to the hearing, with copies of any of the team’s documents produced by the NFL that the Committee expects to use during the hearing," Maloney writes. "Please inform the Committee by Monday, June 20, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET whether Mr. Snyder accepts these additional accommodations and will appear before the Committee on June 22, 2022."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also invited to testify at the hearing and has confirmed that he will appear virtually. But before the hearing begins, six representatives -- Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) -- are calling on Goodell to release the results of a 10-month investigation into the Washington Commanders and their workplace environment of the league's 10-month investigation into the team, which led to a $10M fine against the team.
"Our constituents deserve to know the findings of the ... investigation, so that the Washington Commanders, including Mr. Snyder, can be properly held to account for the horrific behavior that occurred," the letter says. "We encourage the NFL and the Washington Commanders to do the right thing ahead of the June hearing and release the report."
After workplace misconduct and harassment allegations were levied against owner Dan Snyder and some of his front office staff in 2020, attorney Beth Wilkinson was retained to conduct a third-party, independent investigation. However, Goodell made it clear the NFL would not issue a report on the investigation because of its promise to protect the identities of those who testified.
"There is an opportunity for the NFL and the Commanders to lead by example, not by attempting to silence victims, but by ensuring this type of rampant abuse is not tolerated going forward," the letter says.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Il), said the committee has been "stonewalled by NDAs" since they got involved, and is calling on Snyder and Goodell "to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues."