Statement from Lisa Banks and Debra Katz Regarding WFT Roundtable
WASHINGTON, DC– Today, six former Washington Football Team (WFT) employees testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the WFT’s disturbing culture of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct.
The brave individuals who testified shared that they and their female colleagues experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis, and multiple witnesses shared examples of sexual harassment and abuse directly from the team’s disgraced owner, Dan Snyder. Witnesses testified that when they complained about the sexual harassment they experienced, WFT took no action to protect them, retaliated against them, and in some cases, threatened their jobs. The National Football League (NFL) oversaw an independent investigation by Washington, D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson into the WFT’s mistreatment of female employees, but has both hidden the investigation’s findings and rebuffed Congress’s calls to make these findings pubic.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent the witnesses who testified today, as well as over 40 former WFT employees, released the following statement:
“Today was an important first step in holding the Washington Football Team, and workplaces across the nation, accountable for the mistreatment of female employees. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and WFT Owner Dan Snyder have tried to sweep twenty years of sexual harassment and abuse under the rug, but today’s Roundtable sent the message that Congress will not tolerate these attempts to evade accountability from one of the most prominent workplaces in the nation. If the NFL and WFT can pocket millions of dollars from Congress’s antitrust laws and millions of taxpayer dollars for the construction of its stadiums, then it must heed Congress’s calls to release the findings of its investigation and treat all of its employees with dignity and respect. 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. By keeping the investigation’s findings hidden, the NFL and WFT are trying to silence these witnesses and avoid responsibility. In the face of overwhelming evidence that WFT executives and Dan Snyder have abused female employees for decades with impunity, it is time for Congress to demand transparency and accountability. 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.”
Read the full statements read to the committee by Emily Applegate, Brad Baker, Melanie Coburn, Rachel Engleson, Tiffani Johnston, and Ana Nunez.