The Washington Redskins launched an internal investigation after 15 former employees and two reporters who reported the team alleged that members of the team had been sexually assaulted and verbally abused, the CNN team said.
The allegations were first reported on Thursday by the Washington Post. The newspaper received screenshots of text messages in which Richard Mann II – the assistant manager of the pro staff team – made inappropriate sexual comments to an employee. The man was released last week.
Former employees have accused Larry Michael, the former senior vice president of the content team and play-by-play advertiser, of speaking about the attractiveness of an intern in 2018 when he was recorded for a team video, the newspaper said. Michael retired on Wednesday.
CNN could not reach Mann and Michael to comment on Thursday.
Owner Dan Snyder and former team president Bruce Allen were not directly involved in the allegations of sexual harassment raised by employees and reported by mail. However, Snyder has been criticized for promoting a culture where behavior is allowed.
Asked by CNN about the allegations, the Washington Redskins commented on their comments on the post, saying that the team had hired Wilkinson Walsh LLP attorney Beth Wilkinson “to conduct a thorough independent review of the whole matter and to assist the team. to set new standards for employees. “for the future.”
“The Washington Redskins football team takes employee behavior issues seriously. We are not talking publicly about specific employee situations, but we are responding immediately to new behavior allegations that violate these guidelines,” he said. declared. The team said in a statement to the post.
Wilkinson told CNN on Thursday that the team had been tasked with investigating the “allegations of professional misconduct”. She did not provide any further information on the allegations.
The Post said it had interviewed more than 40 current and former employees. Fourteen of the 15 prosecutors told the newspaper that they had signed confidentiality agreements and feared they could be prosecuted if their names were used.
The team has been in the spotlight for several weeks when it is under pressure to change its name, long criticized for its racist overtones.
Given the recent protests against racial injustice and police brutality, the team has been increasingly asked to change their names. Earlier this month, the team announced an internal name review, and on Monday, the team announced that it will remove the Redskins name and logo.
A new name has not yet been announced.
Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera “are working closely to develop a new name and a new design approach,” the team said in a statement.
The decision to recheck the name of Washington has been put to the test by sponsors, including FedEx, and some brands, including Nike and Amazon, have removed the team’s products from their online stores.