NFL fines outgoing DC Commanders owner $60m

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The National Football League (NFL) has fined former Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder $60m (£46.6m) after a 17-month long investigation.

The investigation concluded that Mr Snyder sexually harassed a former employee and that the team intentionally underreported revenues to the NFL.

Mr Snyder has called the misconduct allegations “outright lies”.

This comes after NFL owners approved Mr Snyder’s sale of the team.

In 2022, former team employee Tiffani Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing employee, told the House Oversight Committee that Mr Snyder had made “sexual advances” during a networking event – placing his hand on her thigh under a table.

He later allegedly pushed her towards the back of his vehicle to have her join him after the dinner. He has denied these claims.

Independent investigator Mary Jo White, former chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said in the 23 page report that Ms Johnston was found to be “highly credible”.

“The conduct substantiated in Ms White’s findings has no place in the NFL,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “We strive for workplaces that are safe, respectful and professional. What Ms Johnston experienced is inappropriate and contrary to the NFL’s values.”

Ms White and her colleagues reviewed over 10,000 documents, interviewed dozens of witnesses, sometimes more than once, and received assistance from a team of forensic accountants.

Along with corroborating evidence, the report notes testimony from four witnesses, who recalled Ms Johnston telling them about the incident with Mr Snyder shortly after.

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The report also details company mishandling of finances which emerged from Congressional testimony from a former Commanders sales executive who said the team had “two sets of books” for financial accounting and concealed ticket revenue from the NFL.

While, the report says it is clear the team “underreported some amount of shareable revenue… in deliberate violation of the League’s revenue sharing rules,” they could not determine the exact amount of revenue withheld.

This is mainly because “of the club’s failures to cooperate in producing requested relevant documents, as well as the unwillingness of certain former senior executives to be interviewed,” the report says.

Mr Snyder announced late last year he would sell the team he had owned a majority of since 1999. The deal was worth just over $6bn, a remarkable increase over Mr Snyder’s original $800m investment.

The team was sold to a group led by Josh Harris, who is a co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Alongside issues off the pitch, the new owners will be seeking to improve the Commanders’ NFL performance. The team last won a playoff game in 2005.

Related Topics

  • Washington DC
  • United States

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