WASHINGTON — The National Football League (NFL) released a statement on the recent claims reported by the Washington Post alleging the sexual harassment and verbal abuse of 15 female Washington football team employees.
In a statement released to ESPN reporter John Keim, the NFL says they take the allegations "seriously" and find them "disturbing". The NFL says they plan to meet with the team's attorney following the investigation to make decisions based on the findings.
Read the NFL's full statement below:
"These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings."
According to the Washington Post, the allegations spanned 15 years. The women who came forward made claims against Richard Mann II, assistant director of pro personnel, Dennis Greene, former president of business operations, Mitch Gershman, former chief operating officer, Larry Michael, a longtime radio broadcaster who retired Wednesday, and Alex Santos, the team’s director of pro personnel.
Emily Applegate, an alleged victim in the allegations, spoke openly while the other 14 women spoke on the condition of anonymity.
None of the women made allegations against Dan Snyder, Washington football team owner, or Bruce Allen, former team president, the Washington Post said. They report that the women instead, "expressed skepticism" that the executives didn't know about the harassment. The women also blamed Snyder for an understaffed HR department and the "sophomoric culture of verbal abuse among top executives," the Post article said.
The Washinton Post said Snyder declined several interview requests for the story. The Post also said Head Coach Ron Rivera declined to comment on the firings of Santos and Mann.
The franchise announced Monday morning it had officially retired the team's controversial name and logo. Washington’s NFL team had used the nickname since 1933. This comes after the team launched a “thorough review” of the name on July 3.