UPDATED 12:26 PM PT – Thursday, June 23 2022
NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell appeared virtually before House lawmakers to testify about the Washington Commanders and league’s handling of workplace misconduct in the organization.
The House Oversight Committee heard from Goodell during a hearing Wednesday, as part of its probe into workplace culture at the NFL team based in the nation’s capital. This as the panel released a memo in which Commanders owner Daniel Snyder was accused of harassing, intimidating and trying to silence individuals who had alleged sexual harassment in the organization.
Among the allegations detailed by the panel, Snyder was suspected of sending private investigators to the homes of accusers to offer them hush money and discourage them from participating in an investigation led by attorney Beth Wilkinson. The committee said Snyder’s work to interfere in the probe may have been to conceal or distract from his own role in troubling conduct. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said the NFL was aware of his actions, but failed to stop him.
” In April, six attorneys general condemned the NFL for its ongoing failure to address sexual harassment and gender discrimination across the league,” said Goodell. “The NFL itself has launched new investigations based on evidence brought to light by the committee.”
“Commissioner, you believe in the First Amendment, don’t ya?” –@Jim_Jordan
“I do.” -NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
“Why do you ban @stoolpresidente from NFL games?” -Jordan
“Congressman, I’m not familiar with that issue.” -Goodell pic.twitter.com/ynlHj8CO9o
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 22, 2022
Snyder declined to appear at the hearing, while a spokesperson said the hearing was “a politically charged show trial.” He added that Congress should not be investigating “an issue a football team addressed years ago.” Goodell acknowledged the work place in Washington was unacceptable in numerous aspects and asserted he is devoted to ensuring a safe and professional work environment.
“I have been and remain committed to ensuring that all employees of the NFL and the 32 clubs work in a professional and supportive environment that is free from discrimination, harassment or other forms of illegal or unprofessional conduct,” stated Goodell.
The NFL Commissioner also told lawmakers he does not have the authority to remove Snyder as an owner, but his fellow owners could vote to do so. Maloney plans to subpoena Snyder for a deposition next week.