Roger Goodell says he has no authority to take away Daniel Snyder as proprietor of Washington Commanders

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he has no authority to take away Daniel Snyder as proprietor of the Washington Commanders amid ongoing scrutiny into the group’s office tradition and accusations from girls workers of pervasive sexual harassment by crew executives.

Goodell testified Wednesday earlier than members of Congress at a listening to by the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform. At one level close to the tip of greater than two hours of testimony, Goodell was questioned by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who requested whether or not Goodell and the league are “prepared to do extra” to punish Snyder.

After initially asking whether or not he would suggest Snyder’s elimination as proprietor of the Commanders, Tlaib adopted up by asking Goodell: “Will you take away him?”

“I haven’t got the authority to take away him, Congresswoman,” Goodell replied.

An NFL proprietor might be eliminated solely by a three-quarters (so, 24 out of 32) majority vote of fellow homeowners, though Goodell does have the power to formally suggest such a vote.

Snyder was invited to testify however declined, citing abroad enterprise commitments and issues about due course of. Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) introduced through the listening to that she plans to subject a subpoena to compel him to testify.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to carry Mr. Snyder accountable,” Maloney mentioned. “That’s the reason I’m asserting now my intent to subject a subpoena for Mr. Snyder for a deposition subsequent week. The committee won’t be deterred in its investigation into the Washington Commanders.”

Goodell advised the committee that the crew’s tradition has remodeled on account of an investigation led by lawyer Beth Wilkinson and that Snyder “has been held accountable.”

After Wilkinson offered her findings to Goodell final 12 months, the NFL fined the crew $ 10 million final 12 months and Snyder stepped away from its day-to-day operations. Nonetheless, the league didn’t launch a written report of Wilkinson’s findings, a choice Goodell mentioned was meant to guard the privateness of former workers who spoke to investigators.

Following Wednesday’s listening to, the Commanders despatched a letter to crew workers – a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN – that mentioned partially, “We consider the statements which were made within the essential media of our group don’t precisely mirror our optimistic transformation and the present actuality of the Washington Commanders group that exists as we speak. “

The committee launched the findings of its eight-month investigation earlier than Wednesday’s listening to began, accusing Snyder of conducting his personal “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former workers, hiring non-public investigators to intimidate witnesses, and utilizing an abroad lawsuit as a pretext to acquire cellphone information and emails.

The 29-page memo alleges Snyder tried to discredit the folks accusing him and different crew executives of misconduct and in addition tried to affect an investigation of the crew carried out for the NFL by Wilkinson’s agency.

Snyder’s attorneys offered the NFL with a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation together with “non-public textual content messages, emails, cellphone logs and name transcripts, and social media posts from practically 50 people who Mr. Snyder apparently believed had been concerned in a conspiracy to disparage him,” the committee mentioned.

When requested concerning the alleged “shadow” investigation, Goodell mentioned: “Any motion that will discourage folks from coming ahead could be inappropriate.”

In an announcement, a spokesman for Snyder characterised the report and the listening to as “a politically charged present trial” and mentioned Congress shouldn’t be investigating “a problem a soccer crew addressed years in the past.”

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who signify greater than 40 former crew workers, once more known as on Goodell to launch a report from the Wilkinson probe, calling it “gorgeous and disheartening” to listen to him say Snyder has been held accountable.

“At this time, the committee launched a damning report demonstrating that Snyder and his legal professionals additionally surveyed and investigated complainants, their legal professionals, witnesses and journalists, which Goodell knew about and did nothing to handle,” Banks and Katz mentioned in an announcement.

Maloney has launched laws to curb using office nondisclosure agreements and to supply protections for workers whose skilled photographs are used inappropriately. Among the many accusations in opposition to the Commanders are that crew workers produced a video of lewd outtakes from a photograph shoot involving the cheerleading squad.

Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of going after an NFL crew to distract from extra urgent points and exceeding the scope of the committee’s mission.

“A core accountability of this committee is to conduct oversight of the manager department, however this whole Congress, Democrats have turned a blind eye to the Biden administration,” mentioned Kentucky GOP Rep. James Comer, the committee’s rating member. “As an alternative, the Oversight committee is investigating a single non-public group for office misconduct that occurred years in the past.”

ESPN’s Tisha Thompson and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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