Washington Football

Ron Rivera on alleged harassment by former Washington executives: 'We're trying to create a new culture here'

Washington Football

The Washington Post published a story Thursday evening regarding serious sexual misconduct allegations against several former members of Washington football's staff, including Alex Santos and Richard Mann II, two executives who were fired earlier this week.

Washington head coach Ron Rivera, who was hired in January, declined to comment on why both Santos and Mann II were dismissed, according to the Post. However, the head coach did release the following statement to the Post:

We’re trying to create a new culture here,” Rivera said. “We’re hoping to get people to understand that they need to judge us on where we are and where we’re going as opposed to where we’ve been.

Shortly after the Post story broke, Rivera doubled down on his statement about changing the culture, per ESPN's John Keim.

“Biggest thing is we have to move forward from this & make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution," Rivera said. "Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!”

News emerged earlier on Thursday that Washington had hired D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct a deep dive into its own culture. Wilkinson has been involved in some serious cases over her decorated 30-year career, serving as a prosecutor against Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995. She also served as Brett Kavanaugh's defense counsel when he was accused of sexual assault in 2018.

 

The word 'culture' is one Rivera has used multiple times since taking over as the team's head coach in January. The head coach has not shied away from getting rid of players who don't want to buy-in to his expected culture, trading disgruntled players Trent Williams and Quinton Dunbar this offseason. Additionally, he released Montae Nicholson, who has had significant off-the-field issues.

"I want to go in, with everybody's help, establish our culture," Rivera said in January. "I want that culture to be a sustainable, winning culture. Not just winning football games, but winning in life. That's what I really believe in."

Santos, Mann II, former business executives Dennis Greene and Mitch Gershman, and longtime 'Voice of the Redskins' Larry Michael were all directly accused of harassing female employees, per the Washington Post. None remain with the organization, as Michael abruptly retired Wednesday. Green left the team in 2018, while Gershman departed in 2015.

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