DC Football Team Owner Denounces Alleged Sexual Harassment of Female Employees

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A day after the publication of a bombshell report on pervasive sexual harassment, the owner of Washington’s football team said that behavior has “no place in our franchise or society.” 

Dan Snyder issued a statement Friday morning after 15 female former employees of the team told The Washington Post they were sexually harassed on the job. The women described relentless verbal abuse that they say top executives ignored and even condoned. 

Snyder promised change and said he began to try to set a new standard for the team by hiring new head coach Ron Rivera.

“[Independent investigator] Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations. 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,” Snyder’s statement said. 

Fifteen women have alleged they were harassed while working for the Washington NFL team. The allegations do not include allegations of harassment involving team owner Dan Snyder. News4's Jackie Benson spoke to an attorney who has represented victims in some of the country's most high-profile sexual harassment cases.

Former marketing coordinator Emily Applegate spoke on the record with the Post and NBC News. She said working in the NFL had been her dream job; instead, she was miserable. She cried in the bathroom after executives swore at her and told her to wear a tight dress so clients at a meeting would have “something to look at.” 

"Nobody deserves to be degraded and treated like that. Nobody deserves to be disrespected," Applegate said Friday on “TODAY.” 

Fourteen other female former employees of the team detailed accounts of misconduct but chose to remain anonymous for fear of legal retribution. Some of the women said they signed nondisclosure agreements. 

A D.C. law firm will conduct an “independent review of the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct,” attorney Beth Wilkinson told NBC News on Thursday. Wilkinson, a trial lawyer, recently represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as he faced a sexual assault allegation and a federal judge after he refused to immediately drop the prosecution of former Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

Washington's football team announced it will retire the name that's lasted for 87 years. The logo too. News4's Cory Smith got reaction from fans who have been calling for the change for years.
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