House Oversight Committee invites Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder to testify during hearing

Washington Commanders Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, and Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL, were asked to testify before a Congressional committee on June 22.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy), sent letters to both men in an attempt to request the request.

The Committee on Oversight and Reform is currently investigating the hostile workplace culture of Commanders. The June 22 hearing will examine the role of the NFL in setting and enforcing standards throughout the League and the legislative reforms required to address these issues at other workplaces, according to a statement.

Maloney released a statement saying that since October, the Committee has sought to discover the truth about harassment and abuse at Washington Commanders and hold accountable those responsible. This will help workers across the country. “The Committee has worked tirelessly in order to obtain crucial information, including the findings and recommendations of the internal investigation carried out by Beth Wilkinson. But, they were met with obstruction at every step from the Commanders as well as the NFL. We need transparency and accountability. That is why we have called on Mr. Goodell to answer the questions that they have avoided for seven months. This hearing will examine how Congress can prevent employers from silence victims of workplace misconduct, and ensure that the Commanders incident does not repeat itself.

Krishnamoorthi said that the Committee was being blocked by NDAs and other means to avoid accountability for seven months. Both Mr. Snyder, Mr. Goodell must appear before the Committee in order to address these issues. We also need answers to our questions regarding the widespread workplace misconduct at Washington Commanders and how the NFL dealt with these issues.

In June of last year, the NFL fined the Commanders a total of $10 million for its investigation by Wilkinson into the workplace culture of the NFL. Maloney, Krishnamoorthi and Goodell sent Goodell a request for all documents regarding the investigation last October. Goodell has stated that the complete investigation report will not be made public to protect the anonymity and privacy of those who assisted with the investigation.

The Washington Post reported that Snyder attempted to stop Wilkinson's interview with a woman who had accused her of sexual misconduct in 2009. The settlement reached out to the woman at $1.6 million. Goodell however has denied that Snyder interfered with the investigation.

Tiffani Johnson, a former event and marketing coordinator, made a new allegation against Snyder in February at a congressional Roundtable. She accused Snyder of touching her 13 years ago at a work dinner. Snyder released a statement refuting her claims. The NFL launched an investigation into these allegations.

The Committee on Oversight and Reform wrote a letter in April to the Federal Trade Commission and other attorney generals claiming that Commanders failed to return security deposits, concealed income, and kept two sets financial books. Jason Friedman, a former employee and long-time worker, made the financial allegations. Jason Friedman met with committee members on March 14 as part its investigation into the team’s workplace culture.

The Commanders deny the allegations. Last month, the Virginia attorney general's office stated that they would open an investigation into these allegations.

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