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Washington NFL owner Snyder vows culture change amid allegations

Washington NFL owner Daniel Snyder talks with a fan before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FedExField on Oct. 21, 2007, in Landover, Maryland. (Larry French/Getty Images)

Washington NFL owner Dan Snyder said Friday he’s committed to improving the culture inside the team after allegations of sexual harassment, while the league will wait for a law firm’s review before taking action.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15
female former employees said they were sexually harassed during their
time with the team. Snyder said the behavior described in the story “has
no place in our franchise or society.”

He hired District of Columbia law firm Wilkinson and Walsh to conduct an independent review
of team policies, culture and allegations of workplace misconduct. The
league said in a statement it will meet with lawyers after the
investigation is complete and will act based on the findings.

Snyder also pledged to make organizational changes.

Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased
investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations,” Snyder
said. “Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and
procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only
avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team
culture that is respectful and inclusive of all.”

He said the
commitment to establishing a new culture and higher standard began with
the hiring of Ron Rivera as coach this year. Rivera told The Athletic he was brought in to change the culture and “create an environment of inclusion.”

The NFL said it expects the team and all employees to be cooperative but is not yet making its own review of the team.

matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s
values,” the league said. “Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in
an environment free from any and all forms of harassment.”

of player personnel Alex Santos, assistant Richard Mann II and longtime
broadcaster and senior vice president Larry Michael are no longer with
the team. Michael announced Wednesday he was retiring after 16 years.

Santos, Mann, Michael and former business executives Dennis Greene and Mitch Gershman were mentioned in the Post story.