Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder once again rejected the House Oversight Committee’s request for his testimony about the work environment around the NFL franchise this week, citing a “business conflict” after the committee requested he reconsider.
Snyder attorney Karen Patton Seymour told the panel Monday that the owner would be traveling in France on a trip that “was scheduled long before” Wednesday’s committee hearing and “cannot be rescheduled,” according to ESPN.
Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) had suggested on Friday that Snyder appear virtually.
“Mr. Snyder has not identified any scheduling challenges that would prevent him from testifying before the Committee while out of the country. Nor has Mr. Snyder asserted that he is unable to return to the United States prior to the hearing, should he prefer to testify in person,” Maloney wrote to Seymour.
“Mr. Snyder is no different than any other witness whose testimony the Committee seeks as part of an important investigation. Any suggestion that the Committee has treated Mr. Snyder unfairly is unfounded,” added Maloney, who noted that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to testify.
Seymour disregarded the option on Monday, telling the committee that the option to appear remotely “does not address my concern that a virtual appearance would not sufficiently protect Mr. Snyder’s interest in having his counsel physically present with him.”
“The Snyders and the Team remain fully willing to cooperate with the Committee, and are eager to share the cultural transformation undertaken by the Commanders if the Committee is interested in obtaining that information in a manner consistent with appropriate due process and fairness protections,” Seymour added.
A committee spokesperson told ESPN that the owner’s stonewalling “sends an unmistakable signal that Mr. Snyder has something to hide and is afraid of coming clean to the American public and addressing major worker protection concerns facing the NFL. The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders.”
The Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Commanders – formerly known as the Washington Redskins and Washington Football Team – began in October after the club was fined $10 million by the NFL following an investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson.
That investigation was triggered by a Washington Post report in the summer of 2020 in which dozens of women claimed that they had experienced sexual harassment and verbal abuse while employed by the team.
Additional allegations surfaced during a roundtable discussion held by the committee in February, during which several former team employees blasted Snyder’s behavior – and accused Goodell of helping cover up the misconduct.
“Roger Goodell has proven once again, he is unequipped to handle important issues within the NFL. He has mishandled social justice issues, domestic violence issues, and now sexual harassment issues,” former marketing coordinator Emily Applegate said. “Worst of all, there have been so many good people that have become collateral damage while these two men cover up two decades of sexual harassment.”
Snyder has also been accused of committing financial crimes, including failing to report ticket revenue and withholding refundable deposits from season ticket subscribers.