Following the release of a second Washington Post bombshell story detailing alleged sexual misconduct within the Washington Football Team franchise, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league would continue to follow the ongoing internal investigation into the organization's culture instead of launching its own review.
Attorney Lisa Banks, who represents at least 12 of the former female employees who brought forth the allegations, believes that decision by the NFL was the wrong one. Given the serious nature and volume of the claims, Banks and her clients want Snyder to be suspended while the investigation is ongoing.
“I think that is an evidently fair ask, and the NFL should do it to demonstrate they are serious about looking into this and making changes," Banks told 106.7's The Sports Junkies on Friday. “If allegations are substantiated from the toxic work environment that’s existed for decades through the videos that appear to have been created at his direction, then I think they can take the next step and move to remove him as an owner."
Banks had originally made this request in a letter to Goodell that was obtained by NBC Sports Washington on Thursday.
While Banks believes there is enough evidence at this time to warrant a suspension, Snyder has disputed the facts of the Post story. In a personal statement released earlier in the week, Snyder ripped the Post and said the claims in its stories were false.
“The Washington Post article reads like a ‘hit job’ relying on unnamed sources and allegations that are largely ten to twenty years old,” Snyder said in a statement obtained by ESPN's Adam Schefter. “We attempted to engage with the Washington Post to provide them with the facts, but those facts clearly didn’t align with their narrative.”
Banks said that specific phrasing by Snyder has upset her clients. To Banks, the women showed bravery coming forward and sharing past experiences.
“Claiming that it’s a hit piece is akin to saying it’s fake news," Banks said.
Based on the number of former employees who have shared stories so far, Banks stated that it's hard to ignore the situation at hand - and she says more women have reached out to share similar stories and experiences.
“We have, as you said, over 40 people who have come forward," Banks told the Sports Junkies. "We have many, many people who have gone on the record to say 'This was my experience at the organization,''" Banks said.
The attorney noted that in past statements since the accusations began, Snyder has explained that he is open to creating change and wants to hear about past experiences so that the organization can improve. Banks says people are doing just that. To then qualify the Post's story as a "hit piece" contradicts his prior remarks, according to Banks.
“I think that at one point Dan had said in a prior statement or article that it was fair for people to come forward and share their experiences," Banks said. “That’s what people are doing in droves.”
Banks insists that is the reason her clients came forward in the first place: To invoke change within the Washington Football Team franchise. Lawsuits have not been discussed yet and those who have shared their stories are more concerned with bringing attention to the issue at hand.
“This has to change. You can’t have this kind of working environment in the 21st century," Banks said. "Frankly, he’s been allowed to have this type of organization and run it this way with impunity, and that has to stop,"
“So the clients really are about effecting change and forcing the NFL to do the right thing," Banks said. "Lawsuits may or may not come on the heels of this, but that’s really not the focus here.”