Fans and everyone around the NFL were shocked to see Washington Commanders Daniel Snyder at AT&T Stadium on Sunday with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Even more shocking was Washington’s social media channels acknowledging Snyder ahead of the game while he remains under investigation by the NFL and the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
It was later revealed Snyder has been at every Washington game this season, but that was the first time he was seen down on the field.
On Wednesday night, Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch broke the story of Snyder’s attorneys sending a letter to the House committee questioning the fairness of the investigation, calling it “a politically inspired hatchet job.”
In the letter, Snyder’s attorneys called into credibility some of the witnesses who have testified for the committee.
On former team president Bruce Allen:
It is widely acknowledged that the single most significant step the Team took to remedy its toxic workplace was to rid itself of Mr. Allen. The fraternity-house culture that Mr. Allen instilled in the Commanders organization is the principal reason that the Commanders came under investigation in the first place. If the Committee had desired, it could have interviewed any of the current employees of the Commanders whose tenure extended back to the Allen years. Those employees would, almost universally, have identified Mr. Allen’s departure as the date that the Team culture began to turn around. Prior to Mr. Allen’s deposition, my law firm provided the Committee with a small sample of his workplace communications. That the Committee would nevertheless choose to sponsor such a witness, in full awareness of the racist, misogynistic, and homophobic beliefs he tolerated and espoused in his e-mail conversations with his friends, is truly astounding. I was informed that, when confronted with these e-mails at his deposition, Mr. Allen’s lawyer questioned their authenticity—despite the fact that these e-mails had been relied upon by the NFL in its investigation of the Team, and despite the fact that a frequent participant in these conversations, former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, immediately resigned when even a tiny sample of them was leaked to the media.
The letter states that Allen, Jason Friedman, Melanie Coburn and David Pauken are “most embittered by their enforced separation from the Team—the same people who were responsible for the toxic workplace culture—and has given them a platform to settle old scores.”
The letter was addressed to Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the House committee, and was written by Tom Davis, former House committee chairman from 2003-2007. Davis is now a partner at Holland & Knight, the law firm that represents the team.
The letter talks of Washington’s new culture, led by team president Jason Wright, which has been praised around the NFL. It notes how no one from the House committee chose to interview any current employee concerning the complete turnaround of the franchise’s workplace culture.
There is much more included in the letter, including multiple exhibits the team shared in defense of Snyder and the team.
We’ll continue to follow this story.