The Washington Football Team is under scrutiny again. According to The Washington Post, a former team executive instructed employees to create a behind-the-scenes photo for owner Daniel Snyder that features clips of partially nude team cheerleaders from a calendar shoot in 2008. Brad Baker, a former employee that worked under senior vice president and lead broadcaster Larry Michael, said Michael told members of his staff to make the video for Snyder.
"Larry said something to the effect of, 'We have a special project that we need to get done for the owner today: He needs us to get the good bits of the behind-the-scenes video from the cheerleader shoot onto a DVD for him,'" Baker told the Post. A copy of the video has reportedly been obtained by the Post, but it will not be published. When the Post asked Michael about the allegations, he said "Nothing can be further from the truth. I was never asked to nor did I ask someone to compile videos."
Snyder issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying he was "unaware" of the allegations in the Post story. "Even before today's article, I have begun taking any and all steps necessary to ensure that the Washington Football Team is an organization that is diverse, inclusive and respectful of all," Snyder said. The team also released a statement, saying it was "deeply distressed" by the most recent allegations.
"Our priority is creating a culture where our employees - on and off the field - are respected and empowered," the team stated. "Our first concern is for the safety and security of our teammates, and we have encouraged any employees who have endured similar experiences, now or in the past to report it immediately. We are already taking a series of additional steps to hold ourselves accountable to our commitments."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also weighed in on the situation in Washington. "We strongly condemn the unprofessional, disturbing and abhorrent behavior and workplace environment alleged in the report which is entirely inconsistent with our standards and has no place in the NFL." Goodell also said the team is currently going through an independent investigation. This report comes weeks after the Washington Post releasing a story about former female employees claiming sexual harassment from staff members.