Despite being invited to testify alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder declined. He will now be required by law to appear before Congress. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the committee’s chairwoman, declared during the hearing on Wednesday that she will summon Snyder to appear for a subsequent deposition the following week.
Goodell repeatedly countered Maloney’s notion that Snyder has not been held accountable for his alleged role in Washington’s punished workplace environment, arguing the NFL imposed “unprecedented” discipline on the Commanders for their conduct. He added that Snyder has not attended league meetings since the NFL officially wrapped its own investigation on misconduct inside the organization, and that, “to the best of my knowledge,” Snyder has not been involved in day-to-day operations of his own team.
According to Maloney, “Mr. Snyder’s unwillingness to testify sends a clear message that he is more concerned with protecting himself than being honest with the American people.” “I am ready to hold Mr. Snyder accountable if the NFL is unwilling to do so. The Committee’s investigation into workplace misbehaviour at will not be halted as it seeks to learn the facts.
Even still, Maloney suggested Washington, and Snyder in particular, have not been properly disciplined for alleged oversight and involvement in a culture of widespread harassment. She announced that the committee “uncovered evidence that Mr. Snyder conducted a shadow investigation to target his accusers, pin the blame on others, and influence the NFL’s own internal review.” She also said the committee’s investigation “confirmed the Commanders secretly created lewd videos of cheerleaders for the private enjoyment of Daniel Snyder.”
“(Rather) than show up and take responsibility for his actions,” Maloney said of Snyder, “he chose to skip town. Apparently, Mr. Snyder is in France, where he has docked his luxury yacht near a resort town. That should tell you just how much respect he has for women in the workplace.”
Maloney introduced two pieces of legislation, the Accountability for Workplace Misconduct Act and Professional Images Protection Act, in response to the committee’s findings related to Washington.
Snyder’s lawyer previously announced that the Commanders owner would be unable to attend Wednesday’s hearing due to “a longstanding Commanders-related business conflict, but that Snyder “remains willing to cooperate with the Committee” during its investigation of Washington. The committee declined a previous request by Snyder’s legal team to delay the hearing over additional concerns about the “questions (that would be) directed to Mr. Snyder.”
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