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NFL

NFL’s Roger Gooddell will testify before Congress but Commanders’ Dan Snyder refuses

Having declined to attend the Congressional hearing, the Commanders owner has now cast a long shadow on legal proceedings.

Update:
NFL’s Roger Gooddell will testify before Congress but Commanders’ Dan Snyder refuses
Katelyn MulcahyAFP

As the controversy surrounding the Commanders continues to unfold it now seems that while the league’s commissioner will appear before Congress, the franchise’s owner won’t.

NFL’s Roger Goodell will speak with Congress but Dan Snyder won’t

According to reports on Wednesday, Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has refused a Congressional summons and therefore, will not be attending a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. This after a four page letter was sent by Snyder’s legal representatives.

Snyder’s decision comes in sharp contrast to that of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has in fact agreed to appear before the committee - remotely - to discuss the scandal involving the under fire Commanders. Both Goodell and Snyder were asked on June 1st to testify at a hearing that is scheduled for June 22nd in relation to the findings from the both the committee’s independent investigation of and the NFL’s internal probe into serious allegations of toxicity and misconduct in the Commander’s workplace environment. Conversely, Snyder’s attorney Karen Patton Seymour wrote that her client is “fully willing to assist the Committee in its investigation.” This seems to run contrary to the understanding that Snyder declined the committee’s invitation due to its failure to reschedule or allow someone to be sent in his stead. Seymor also criticized the committee’s denial of a request to have witness identities revealed. To that end the committee indicated that it will “move forward with this hearing” and is “currently reviewing Mr. Snyder’s letter and will respond.”

The reaction to Dan Snyder’s refusal to show up

As per reports, the attorneys of over 40 former Commanders employees released a joint statement in which they condemned Snyder’s decision to not appear at the hearing. “We, along with our clients, are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to appear voluntarily. We fully expect the Committee will issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time that Mr. Snyder learns that he is not above the law.” With that it would seem to be only a matter of time before Snyder does in fact face said subpoena, with the Committee having already accumulated a significant amount allegations and testimony against him.

How did Dan Snyder get here?

As was well documented in a 2020 article, Congress initiated an extensive investigation into the Commanders organization after numerous allegations were made pertaining to a toxic work environment and sexual harassment across a period of years. As a result of the piece, the Committee asked both the NFL and the franchise to provide all relevant documentation related to situation; following the league’s own investigation which resulted in the team being fined $10 million and Snyder himself being relieved of his day to day responsibilities.

It doesn’t get any better for the Commanders

Though he has since issued an apology, it was only last week, when defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was the source of additional scandal when he referred to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol as a “dust-up.” Del Rio faced strong reaction from players, coaches and fans alike and the NAACP even demanded that he either resign or be terminated. Ultimately, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera sanctioned Del Rio to the tune of $100,000 for his comments, but those who believe it to be a slap on the wrist - there are many - continue to be vocal.

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