ARIZONA CARDINALS

Civil suit filed against Commanders, Snyder, NFL and Goodell

Nov 10, 2022, 12:35 PM
Washington Commanders' Dan Snyder poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team'...

Washington Commanders' Dan Snyder poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team's new identity, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attorney general for the District of Columbia says his office is filing a civil consumer protection lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Attorney General Karl Racine announced the civil complaint at a news conference Thursday, saying Snyder, Goodell, the team and league colluded to deceive D.C. residents about an investigation into the organization’s workplace culture.

“For years, the team and its owner have caused very real and very serious harm and then lied about it to dodge accountability,” Racine said, adding Goodell and the NFL misled the public. “They did all of this to hide the truth, protect their images and let the profits continue to roll.”

Racine said the team and league violated D.C. consumers’ rights based on what they knew about the organization’s workplace misconduct, alleging Snyder lied about his knowledge of the situation.

Four posters flanked Racine during his announcement, outlining some of the history of the team’s rebranding efforts that included references to D.C. and its flag and the history of the NFL’s investigation into the organization’s workplace culture.

“Dan Snyder assured fans that he would fully cooperate with the investigation and the results could be trusted,” one of the posters read. “That was a lie: He repeatedly attempted to interfere, and the fans could not trust results that were never made public. Because Snyder had a veto.”

The findings of Beth Wilkinson’s investigation were not released in July 2021 when the league fined the team $10 million for having a toxic workplace culture. The final poster read: “Fans’ outrage intensified when it became clear that Snyder lied to them: There would be no transparency and no reckoning. That impacted consumer spending decisions.”

Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, said the civil complaint “is further evidence of what we’ve long known: that both the Commanders and the NFL have engaged in deception and lies designed to conceal the team’s decades of sexual harassment and abuse, which has impacted not only the victims of that abuse, but also consumers in the District of Columbia.”

They added, “The filing of this complaint also marks an important step in validating the experiences of the brave women and men who came forward and in achieving, for the first time, a level of transparency into the scope of the misconduct.”

The team is being investigated on several fronts, including by the attorneys general of D.C. and Virginia, Congress and the league. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy last week said former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White’s review on behalf of the league is ongoing and there is no timetable for when it will be completed.

“We will issue subpoenas,” Racine said. “We will seek testimony under oath.”

Racine took a shot at Snyder’s virtual deposition with the U.S House Committee for Oversight and Reform by saying depositions are “not likely to occur on a yacht but in a conference room in the District of Columbia.”

Messages sent to the team and league office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

The Snyders announced last week they hired Bank of America Securities to look into selling part or all of the team. A team spokesperson said they were “exploring all options” in regards to the organization that Forbes values at $5.6 billion.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Monti Ossenfort, new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, speaks during a ne...
Tyler Drake

2023 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: What will the Cardinals do with 3rd pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
17 hours ago
(Barrett Jackson photo)...
Wills Rice

Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins sells custom 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible at Barrett-Jackson

Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins made a pretty penny on Friday, selling a custom 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible at Barrett-Jackson.
17 hours ago
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
Wills Rice

Cardinals outside linebacker coach Charlie Bullen hired at Illinois to same position

Former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker coach Charlie Bullen was hired at Illinois on Saturday, the university announced.
17 hours ago
Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals hugs Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs after th...
Jake Anderson

Cincinnati mayor calls for paternity test to see if Joe Burrow is Patrick Mahomes’ father

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval on Friday made a proclamation for Joe Burrow to take a paternity test to see if he is Patrick Mahomes' father.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (@K1/Instagram Photo)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray shares photo of surgically-repaired knee

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray on Friday gave fans a closer look into his recovery from a season-ending knee injury.
2 days ago
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the third quarter of the game betw...
Arizona Sports

Report: Cardinals still in play to hire Sean Payton after lengthy interview

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos are reportedly still in play to land Sean Payton as their next head coach.
2 days ago
Civil suit filed against Commanders, Snyder, NFL and Goodell