ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio said that while Washington owner Daniel Snyder was not alleged of any inappropriate behavior in Thursday’s blockbuster story in The Washington Post, he is still responsible for the actions of former executives in his organization.
In a story late Thursday, Florio said that while Snyder wasn’t directly accused by the women, the culture in Ashburn was so poor that it falls on his shoulders as the team’s owner.
In the Post's story, 15 former female Redskins employees told the paper they were sexually harassed during their time with the organization. Emily Applegate was quoted on record, but the other 14 women spoke on the condition of anonymity as some signed nondisclosure agreements.
Florio stated that, while it’s impossible to know the extent of what Snyder knew, the interactions of team employees fall under his responsibility anyway
The story referenced an understaffed human resources department, a workplace where victims believed no action would be taken by superiors, as well as a “sophomoric” culture of verbal abuse.
In one particular instance from the Post’s story, Snyder allegedly ordered Dennis Greene, a former sales executive, to do cartwheels after a staff meeting. Snyder allegedly regularly belittled top executives, specifically Green, whom he mocked for having been a cheerleader in college.
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Florio made the distinction, however, that direct claims of inappropriate workplace conduct and sexual harassment, as well as the use of a racial slur, led to the removal of former Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson.
In that regard, Snyder’s situation in Washington is vastly different than Richardson’s in Carolina. Richardson quickly announced he was selling the team after reports of those allegations surfaced.
Still, Florio made it clear that at some point, even though no allegations were made against Snyder himself, responsibility for the behavior of his executives and staff falls on him for allowing a toxic workplace environment where women felt uncomfortable.
“In any organization, that kind of behavior from the top of the organization quite likely will trickle down the chain of command, resulting in similar mistreatment of subordinate employees being tolerated, accepted, and even encouraged,” Florio wrote.
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