Congresswoman blasts Dan Snyder for taking his yacht to France instead of testifying about his NFL team's misconduct
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform hosted a hearing about Washington's NFL team Wednesday.
Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who is central to misconduct allegations, refused to testify to Congress.
Instead, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said he "chose to skip town" and take his "luxury yacht" to France.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder refused to testify before Congress during the US House of Representatives' hearing on his team's "hostile workplace culture" and the NFL's "inadequate response."
And House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney blasted Snyder for his absence on Wednesday, especially after learning that he went on vacation.
"Rather than show up and take responsibility for his actions, [Snyder] chose to skip town," the Democrat from New York said in her opening statement. "Apparently, Mr. Snyder is in France, where he has docked his luxury yacht near a resort town. That should tell you just how much respect he has for women in the workplace."
"Mr. Snyder's absence is all the more telling, given that the Committee released new evidence today that Mr. Snyder himself fostered the Commanders' toxic workplace," she added.
The evidence Maloney cited details Snyder's efforts to defend "male executives accused of sexual harassment" while simultaneously taking steps to fire "women — but not men — who engaged in relationships with other employees." She said that the committee found the 57-year-old billionaire instituted "a culture of fear" to dissuade employees from speaking out against workplace misconduct.
One former employee told investigators that Snyder's approach involved intimidation, termination, and bribery.
"For more than two decades, Dan Snyder refused to protect the women who worked for him from the toxic culture he created," Maloney said. "The NFL has also failed to protect these women. Now, I believe it is up to Congress to protect them, and millions more like them."
Maloney has introduced two bills in order to combat toxic workplace cultures like the one that Congressional investigators found festered within the Commanders' ranks for years.
The Accountability for Workplace Misconduct Act intends to "require employers to conduct thorough investigations and share the outcome with victims" while forbidding employers from burying misconduct through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) like the ones Snyder has been known to employ within the Commanders' workplace.
The second bill — a response to the team's creation of secret, "lewd videos of cheerleaders for the private enjoyment of Dan Snyder" — would prohibit employers from using professional imagery of its employees without explicit consent.
Maloney said she wants to hold Snyder accountable in a way that the NFL has not. During the hearing, she announced her intention to subpoena the Commanders owner for testimony in front of the committee as soon as next week.
"Mr. Snyder's refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean to the American public," Maloney said. "If the NFL is unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so."
"The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders," she added.
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