Owner Dan Snyder has hired a District of Columbia law firm to review the Washington NFL team's culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.
Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the firm had been retained to conduct an independent review. ESPN was first to report the hiring.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15 female former employees said they were sexually harassed during their time with the team. In a statement, the team said it takes issues of employee conduct seriously and, "While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly."
The NFL released a statement early Friday, obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport:
"These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings."
Washington head coach Ron Rivera earlier released the following statement, also obtained by Rapoport:
"Biggest thing is that we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution. Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!
"Dan Snyder brought me here to change culture & create an environment of inclusion among employees. I believe everyone that works for this franchise has a vested interest in our success."
Within the past week, three members of the front office have left the organization. Director 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.
Also Wednesday, the team promoted Jeff Scott to assistant director of pro scouting and advance coordinator to replace Mann.
Santos, Mann, Michael and former business executives Dennis Greene and Mitch Gershman were mentioned in the Post story.
Washington is in the midst of several months of significant change. President Bruce Allen was fired at the end of the 2019 season, Rivera was hired on New Year's Day and given control of football operations and the team this week announced it’s dumping the name “Redskins” after 87 years.
Allen's departure coincided with the firing of the team's previous medical and training staff, and Rivera brought trainers with him from Carolina and hired a new coaching staff.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.