Roger Goodell says he has no authority to remove Daniel Snyder as owner of Washington Commanders

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he has no authority to take away Daniel Snyder as proprietor of the Washington Commanders amid ongoing scrutiny of the group’s work tradition and allegations of widespread sexual harassment by feminine workers. crew executives.

Goodell testified Wednesday earlier than members of Congress at a Home Oversight and Reform Committee listening to. Close to the top of greater than two hours of testimony, Goodell was questioned by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who requested if Goodell and the league are “keen to do extra” to punish Snyder.

After initially asking if he would advocate eradicating Snyder as proprietor of the Commanders, Tlaib adopted up by asking Goodell, “Will you take away him?”

“I haven’t got the authority to take away you, Congressman,” Goodell replied.

An NFL proprietor may be eliminated solely by a three-quarters majority vote (ie 24 of 32) of the opposite house owners, though Goodell has the flexibility to formally advocate such a vote.

Snyder was invited to testify however declined, citing international enterprise commitments and due course of issues. Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) introduced throughout the listening to that she plans to situation a subpoena to drive him to testify.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to carry Mr. Snyder accountable,” Maloney mentioned. β€œThat’s the reason I’m now saying my intention to situation a subpoena for Mr. Snyder to testify subsequent week. The committee won’t be deterred in its investigation of the Washington Commanders.”

Goodell instructed the committee that the crew’s tradition has been remodeled because of an investigation led by lawyer Beth Wilkinson and that Snyder “has been held accountable.”

After Wilkinson introduced his findings to Goodell final 12 months, the NFL fined the crew $10 million and Snyder walked away from day-to-day operations. Nevertheless, the league didn’t launch a written report of Wilkinson’s findings, a call Goodell mentioned was supposed to guard the privateness of former workers who spoke with investigators.

Following Wednesday’s listening to, the Commanders despatched a letter to crew workers, a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN, that learn, partly, “We consider statements which have been made within the media crucial of our group don’t precisely mirror our constructive transformation and present actuality of the Washington Commanders group that exists in the present day.

The committee launched the outcomes of its eight-month investigation earlier than Wednesday’s listening to started, accusing Snyder of conducting his personal “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former workers, rent non-public investigators to intimidate witnesses and use a lawsuit overseas as a pretext to acquire cellphone information and emails.

The 29-page memo alleges that Snyder tried to discredit individuals who accused him and different crew executives of misconduct and in addition tried to affect a crew investigation performed for the NFL by Wilkinson’s agency.

Snyder’s attorneys introduced the NFL with a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation that included “non-public textual content messages, emails, cellphone information and name transcripts, and social media posts from practically 50 folks Mr. Snyder apparently believed that they had been engaged in a conspiracy to disparage him,” the committee mentioned.

When requested in regards to the alleged “shadow” investigation, Goodell mentioned: “Any motion that daunts folks from coming ahead can be inappropriate.”

In an announcement, a spokesman for Snyder characterised the report and listening to as “a politically charged present trial” and mentioned Congress mustn’t examine “a problem {that a} soccer crew tackled years in the past.”

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who signify greater than 40 former crew workers, once more requested Goodell to launch a report of the Wilkinson investigation, calling it “spectacular and disheartening” to listen to him say Snyder has been held to account.

“At the moment, the committee launched a damning report displaying that Snyder and his attorneys additionally monitored and investigated whistleblowers, their attorneys, witnesses and journalists, one thing Goodell knew about and did nothing to repair,” Banks and Katz mentioned in an announcement. .

Maloney has launched laws to curb using nondisclosure agreements within the office and to give protection to workers whose skilled photos are used inappropriately. Among the many allegations towards the commanders is that crew workers produced a video of lewd pictures from a photograph shoot involving the cheerleading squad.

Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of going after an NFL crew to distract from extra urgent points and exceed the scope of the committee’s mission.

β€œA core accountability of this committee is to hold out govt department oversight, however all through this Congress, Democrats have turned a blind eye to the Biden administration,” mentioned Kentucky Republican Rep. James Comer, the member of senior committee rank. “As a substitute, the Oversight committee is investigating a single non-public group for office misconduct that occurred years in the past.”

Commanders coach Ron Rivera issued an announcement Wednesday night time, distancing himself from the crew’s previous.

“These investigations into inappropriate office points predate my employment,” mentioned Rivera, who was employed in 2020. “I am unable to change the previous, however I hope our followers, the NFL and Congress can see what we’re doing.” every thing doable”. our energy to by no means repeat these issues within the office. And realizing that our workers are revered, valued and may be heard.”

Tisha Thompson of ESPN and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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