Statement from Lisa Banks and Debra Katz: The NFL Committed a Fraud on The Public and Our Clients
WASHINGTON, DC– Today the House Committee on Oversight and Reform released crucial information which made clear why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the National Football League have stonewalled efforts to release the Wilkinson report and have instead allowed Dan Snyder to consolidate his ownership of the Washington Football Team.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent the witnesses who testified yesterday, as well as over 40 former WFT employees, released the following statement:
“While pledging a fair and impartial investigation to our clients, and encouraging them to put their fears of retaliation aside to provide evidence to investigators, Roger Goodell had already sold them out. We now know that when the NFL assumed oversight of the investigation, it had already entered into a backroom deal with Dan Snyder to pursue a “joint legal strategy” regarding the Wilkinson investigation. Pursuant to this agreement, the NFL and the WFT agreed to join forces to defend against claims by the women and pursue a joint strategy with regard to the Wilkinson investigation. Goodell was anything but an honest broker when it came to this investigation. He was an active co-conspirator with Dan Snyder and is now carrying his water in stonewalling Congress’ efforts to ensure accountability by making the results of the Wilkinson report public.”
“Our clients and the public at large have been lied to and deceived by Commissioner Goodell. Over one hundred WFT employees, including over 40 of our clients, participated in this investigation in good faith, based on their belief that the findings would be made public, and that the exposure of WFT’s deeply ingrained culture of sexual harassment would lead to changes to better protect women in the workplace. Had they been told the truth — that the NFL and the WFT were operating under a “common interest privilege” and joint defense agreement – witnesses would likely not have come forward. We appreciate the Committee’s work in uncovering this damning evidence of complicity. We are eager to continue to work with the Committee to hold the NFL and Dan Snyder accountable and to work towards a more just workplace for employees. In light of today’s revelations, we are considering all legal options.”