The Washington Football Team has been under the microscope for the entire summer, and the spotlight only got hotter Wednesday as a new bombshell report detailed allegations against team owner Daniel Snyder and several former executives accusing them of fostering a malignant workplace for female employees.
The Washington Post revealed accusations by several women who detailed incidents of inappropriate behavior in the organization over the last decade, including Snyder allegedly telling a cheerleader to go up to a hotel room with one of his friends to “get to know each other better,” the request for an unofficial cheerleading video showing the cheerleaders being inadvertently exploited, and having to abide by stringent rules while in the presence of Snyder.
The video described in The Post’s report was from a 2008 cheerleader swimsuit shoot in which the outtakes would be used to show what was described as the women’s “good bits.” Larry Michael, the former radio voice of the team, allegedly asked for the video to be produced for Snyder. Michael also allegedly asked for another video to be created in 2010. Michael denied knowledge of the videos to The Post.
The Post obtained the videos and showed it to Lisa J. Banks, who represents former cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby, who described the videos as “appalling” but “not surprising.” Michael told The Post he had no clue who edited the videos. Former cheerleaders said they felt exploited.
“I feel betrayed and violated,” Heather Tran told the newspaper.
Scourby added: “I’m horrified. I’m nauseous. The video was a huge violation of my sisters and I.”
Scourby also described an incident in which she said she was asked to get to know one of Snyder’s friends more. Two others backed Scourby’s account of the meeting, The Post reported.
“There’s a power dynamic, and Dan Snyder looked down on me,” she told the newspaper. “Because he‘s powerful and our employer, he thinks he somehow has the right to say these things to us, to make these requests of us, and he doesn’t. It’s disgusting.”
The Washington Post interviewed 100 current and former employees and reviewed other team documents for the story. Some women who spoke on condition of anonymity described “unwelcomed advances” at work and through social media and text messages and feared reprisal over speaking out, they said.
Snyder has been embroiled in controversy several times during his tumultuous tenure as owner of the Washington Football Team, which has yielded zero Super Bowls and no NFC Championships.
Last month, he and the organization came under fire for other allegations. Fifteen female former employees who worked for the team told The Washington Post that they were sexually harassed while working for the organization. Michael was also accused of misconduct in that report.
Recently, Snyder filed a lawsuit against a former employee whom he accused of feeding information to websites.
Snyder declined to comment on the recent The Washington Post report. The team did not release a wider statement on the report.