The NFL on Friday rejected an allegation by a United States Congressional committee that the league interfered in a sexual assault investigation of the Washington Commanders.
NFL chief spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “Far from impeding the investigation, the common interest settlement allowed the NFL to efficiently monitor the case and avoided the potential for substantial delay and inconvenience to witnesses.”
McCarthy responded to a 74-page report previously released by Congress.
The report alleged that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, with the help of the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell, suppressed evidence that Snyder and franchise officials had sexually assaulted women who had worked with the team for two decades.
The team was investigated by Congress for complaints made in 2020 by several cheerleaders and former employees of the team, who specifically accused Dan Snyder of a poor work culture with women who had worked there for 20 years.
In July 2021, the NFL fined the Washington Commanders $10 million for these incidents.
The report stated that a fine was the product of negotiations between the NFL, Snyder and the commanders’ attorneys, rather than leaving the decision to the NFL’s executive committee as standard.
The league explained through its spokesperson that the disciplinary measures were strict and followed all protocols.
“The NFL issued a public statement and imposed an unprecedented fine on the club and its owners. Additionally, it followed all recommendations and made significant improvements to the Commanders’ workplace culture and policies,” McCarthy said.
Brian McCarthy also clarified that, contrary to what was noted in the report, Commissioner Roger Goodell cooperated whenever necessary during the investigation.
“Over the past 13 months, the NFL has fully cooperated with the committee’s investigation, responding to dozens of written inquiries and voluntarily participating in a two-and-a-half-hour public hearing during which Commissioner Goodell answered 128 questions.”
An NFL spokesperson also explained the commitments that have been extended to all teams.
“The NFL is committed to ensuring that all NFL employees and all 32 teams operate in a professional environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, or other forms of unprofessional or illegal conduct.”