NFL Will Oversee Investigation Of Washington Commanders Owner Dan Snyder

The NFL announced on Wednesday that it would hire an investigator to lead the probe into the alleged sexual harassment by Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

Early Wednesday morning, the Commanders said they would hire an outside investigator to look into former team employee Tiffani Johnston’s claims that Snyder allegedly groped her thigh at a team dinner over 10 years ago. She also alleged that the Commanders owner pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back area.

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Dan and Tanya Snyder, co-owners and co-CEOs of the Washington Commanders, pose for photos after unveiling their NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb.  2, 2022, in Landover, Md.  The new name comes 18 months after the once-storied franchise dropped its old moniker following decades of criticism that it was offensive to Native Americans.

Dan and Tanya Snyder, co-owners and co-CEOs of the Washington Commanders, pose for photos after unveiling their NFL football team’s new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md. The new name comes 18 months after the once-storied franchise dropped its old moniker following decades of criticism that it was offensive to Native Americans.
(AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

A few hours later, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL would oversee the investigation, and during commissioner Roger Goodell’s Super Bowl press conference, he reiterated that statement.

“I don’t see any way that a team can do its own investigation of itself,” Goodell said during his time with reporters. “That’s something that we would do. We would do it with an outside expert that would help us come to a conclusion of what the facts are.”

Former employees of Washington first complained about sexual harassment by team executives back in 2020, and the team hired attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm to investigate. The league ended up taking over that probe, and Wilkinson reported her findings to Goodell.

Dan Snyder, center, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, adjusts his mask as he arrives to unveil his NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb.  2, 2022, in Landover, Md.

Dan Snyder, center, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, adjusts his mask as he arrives to unveil his NFL football team’s new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.
(AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

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The NFL fined Snyder 10 million, and he temporarily surrendered day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife, Tanya. Wilkinson’s findings have not been released publicly, and leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform have pressed the league to turn over details of that probe.

“Mr Snyder and the NFL must stop hiding the findings from the Wilkinson investigation, comply with the Oversight Committee’s requests, and commit that new allegations will not be swept under the rug,” the committee chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., said in a statement.

Owner Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins watches warm-ups before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Fed Ex Field on August 22, 2009 in Landover, Maryland.

Owner Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins watches warm-ups before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Fed Ex Field on August 22, 2009 in Landover, Maryland.
(G Fiume / Getty Images)

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Although many former team employees accused Snyder of presiding over a culture that was toxic to women, he had not been personally accused of sexual harassment until last week, when Johnston detailed her allegations against him to Congress. Johnston had declined to participate in Wilkinson’s investigation.

Snyder has denied the allegations, calling them “outright lies.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.