The team launched the investigation after allegations of sexual harassment within the workplace were reported in July.
The NFL has taken over the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment within the Washington Football Team’s workplace.
Owner Dan Snyder confirmed the decision in a statement, saying he suggested the move to commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Recently, The Washington Football Team launched an independent third-party investigation into allegations about our culture and incidents of harassment. In conversations with Commissioner Goodell, Tanya and I suggested that the NFL assume full oversight of the investigation so that the results are thorough, complete and trusted by the fans, the players, our employees and the public,” Snyder said in a statement, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I appreciate Commissioner Goodell agreeing to our suggestion and the entire Washington Football Team remains committed to fully cooperating with all aspects of the investigation.”
Attorney Beth Wilkinson, who is conducting the investigation, will now report to the NFL instead of the team. Washington hired Wilkinson following a report from The Washington Post last month that included 15 former female employees of the team describing their experiences with sexual harassment within the organization. Last week, the Post published another report alleging a former senior executive instructed employees to create a behind-the-scenes video for Snyder, featuring outtakes of partially nude team cheerleaders from a 2008 team swimsuit calendar shoot. Snyder later denied the allegations.
“While I was unaware of these allegations until they surfaced in the media, I take full responsibility for the culture of our organization,” Snyder said in a statement. “Even before today’s article, I have begun taking any and all steps necessary to ensure that the Washington Football Team is an organization that is diverse, inclusive and respectful of all.”
Between its two stories, The Post interviewed 40 female employees about being sexual harassed in the workplace.
Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent over 12 former Washington employees, demanded last week that the NFL should launch its own independent investigation into the allegations and suspend Snyder pending the outcome of the probe. They also asked for Snyder’s removal as majority owner if the investigation substantiates the claims.
In a statement, the Washington firm Katz, Marshall and Banks said Snyder will “release employees or former employees from any non-disclosure agreement for purposes of speaking with the investigators.”