WASHINGTON — A letter signed by six local members of Congress urges NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to "do the right thing" and release the results of an investigation into the Washington Commanders and their workplace environment ahead of a Congressional hearing.
On Wednesday, June 22, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will begin a hearing to examine the Commanders' alleged "hostile workplace culture" and the NFL's handling of the allegations.
"[The committee will] examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces," according to a statement released to WUSA9 earlier this month.
Goodell has confirmed that he will appear virtually at the hearing, while Commanders owner Dan Snyder said he will not due to scheduling conflicts.
But before the hearing begins, six representatives -- Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) -- are calling on Goodell to release the findings of the league's 10-month investigation into the team, which led to a $10M fine against the team.
"Our constituents deserve to know the findings of the ... investigation, so that the Washington Commanders, including Mr. Snyder, can be properly held to account for the horrific behavior that occurred," the letter says. "We encourage the NFL and the Washington Commanders to do the right thing ahead of the June hearing and release the report."
After workplace misconduct and harassment allegations were levied against owner Dan Snyder and some of his front office staff in 2020, attorney Beth Wilkinson was retained to conduct a third-party, independent investigation. However, Goodell made it clear the NFL would not issue a report on the investigation because of its promise to protect the identities of those who testified.
"There is an opportunity for the NFL and the Commanders to lead by example, not by attempting to silence victims, but by ensuring this type of rampant abuse is not tolerated going forward," the letter says.
Congress got involved in October 2021, ordering Goodell to hand over "all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation."
"The NFL has cooperated extensively throughout the Committee’s lengthy investigation of the Washington Commanders, including by producing more than 460,000 pages of documents and responding to numerous questions in writing and in conversations with the Committee’s staff," NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email to WUSA9.
However, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Il), said the committee has been "stonewalled by NDAs" since they got involved.
“Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell need to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues," Krishnamoorthi said.
The effort to bring Snyder and Goodell to testify is highly partisan. Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee have shown disdain for the investigation.
"There is nothing Congress can do to remedy any of the specific allegations made," said GOP Committee Spokesman Austin Hacker. "If Congress can’t provide a solution, why are Democrats wasting valuable resources and scheduling a hearing? This entire charade appears to be an attempt to gain cheap headlines, not solutions.”
Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.