ASHBURN, Va. (WWBT) - 25 women have come forward in a new Washington Post report that further details a workplace of sexual misconduct and harassment among the Washington NFL team. The latest report is the first public accusation of team owner Daniel Snyder.
According to the Washington Post, former cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby said that Snyder suggested she join one of his friends in a hotel room so they could “get to know each other better” during a 2004 charity event.
Another former employee, Brad Baker, who used to work for the team’s director of broadcasting, Larry Michael, told the Post that Michael instructed employees to make a private behind-the-scenes video for Snyder during a 2008 cheerleading swimsuit calendar photoshoot.
Most of the 25 women who have spoken to the Washington Post have done so anonymously due to nondisclosure agreements and fear of retaliation.
Both the Washington football team and Snyder released statements, though they don’t resemble each other very much.
The team released the following statement on Wednesday night:
“Today the Washington Post published an article detailing additional allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct at the Washington Football team. We are deeply distressed by these terrible allegations and are committed to investigating them fully. Our priority is creating a culture where our employees – on and off the field – are respected and empowered.
“Our first concern is for the safety and security of our teammates, and we have encouraged any employees who have endured similar experiences, now or in the past, to report it immediately. We are already taking a series of additional steps to hold ourselves accountable to our commitments. We remain focused on building an organization where all employees feel valued and are invested in shaping the new direction of our franchise.”
Snyder’s statement denied any wrongdoing when it comes to the alleged incidents in the report, though he did say he has been too “hands off” as an owner and vowed to be more involved. Snyder also publicly committed to changing the culture of the organization after last month’s Washington Post report.
As for Scourby, Snyder said that she never brought any allegations of the alleged 2004 incident to management’s attention in her eight years as a cheerleader “or at any time in the past 16 years.” Snyder notes that Scourby is still a volunteer for the team’s cheerleaders.
“I want to unequivocally state that this never happened,” the owner’s statement emphasized.
Snyder also denied knowing of any videos from the 2008 calendar shoot.
“I did not request their creation and I never saw them,” he said, adding that the Post refused to provide copies of the videos to the team “to be forensically evaluated and authenticated.”
Since Snyder and his wife penned a letter to members of the organization in July promising change, the owner has made two historic hires. Jason Wright has joined the organization as the first Black team president of an NFL franchise, and Julie Donaldson came on as Senior Vice President of Media and Content, the highest-ranking woman in a front-office role in the club’s history.
The NFL also weighed in on the allegations, saying it “strongly condemns the unprofessional, disturbing and abhorrent behavior” outlined in the report. The league says it will review the results of an investigation and take appropriate action.
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