Fifteen women that were previously affiliated with the Washington Redskins’ organization have accused former employees of alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The accusations were made toward team owner, Dan Snyder’s inner group of associates, including former scouts of the organization.
Some of those accused include Alex Santos and Richard Mann II. Santos was known as the former director of pro personnel, while Mann was the assistant director. They both left the Washington Redskins’ organization within the past week.
Larry Michael, the announcer of a radio play-by-play, was also accused of sexual misconduct, along with former president of business operation Dennis Greene. Mitch Gershman, former C.O.O., and Michael are both considered part of Snyder’s inner circle.
As of now, there have been no allegations made against Snyder or Bruce Allen. After 10 years with the team, Allen, the team’s longtime general manager, was fired last December.
The Reactions from Within the Organization’s Walls
The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has not commented on the matter and denied all requests for an interview. The NFL, however, has released a public statement.
The Redskins released a public statement emphasizing their focus on taking issues involving employee conduct seriously. The statement went on to clarify that although they do publicly address internal situations with employees, these allegations could not go unrecognized.
Coach Ron Rivera commented on the allegations. He is directly impacted by the circumstances as his daughter currently works for the organization. He hopes, moving forward, that individuals apart of the organization clearly understand their policies and specifically, their open-door policy with no retribution.
What the Allegations Include
The allegations include those of sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture. According to the 15 women who made the accusations, the allegations occurred between 2006 and 2019.
Santos was accused by six former employees and two reporters who covered the team. They claim he commented on their bodies and made unwelcomed overtures. Santos has declined to comment on the matter.
Evidence of text messages between Mann and a female employee showed a conversation he had held with colleagues about whether or not she had undergone breast enhancement surgery. Mann also declined to comment on the allegations.
Dennis Greene formally resigned in 2018 after being reported to have sold access to Redskins cheerleaders. It was also reported that he would encourage staff members to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients. Green also declined to comment on the allegations.
Former Washington female employee, Emily Applegate, chose not to stay anonymous, but rather reveal her identity after coming forward about alleged verbal abuse by Gershman, former C.O.O. Applegate claims he was verbally abusive and complimented her body.
Gershman denies knowing who Applegate is and claims the Redskins was a great place to work. He apologized to individuals who thought he was being verbally abusive. That was anything but an apology.
Announcer Larry Michael was accused by seven former employees of sexual misconduct. He retired on Wednesday after these women came forward claiming he would often speak about their physical appearance in an obviously sexual manner.
What the Organization Is Doing
Confirmed in a statement on Thursday, the Redskins have hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson. This was in order to review and improve the organization’s protocols when it comes to culture, policies, and allegations of misconduct. The Washington team is already in the spotlight after deciding to change its controversial name and logo only last week.
The team is bound to suffer from these circumstances. They are going into a new season with a lack of morale, no official name yet, and the whole country watching their every move. There is surely more to come with this story.