The owner of the Washington Football Team, Dan Snyder, said on Tuesday that his wife Tanya Snyder has been named co-CEO of the team.
The news was first reported by Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. Snyder told Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post about the decision.
“Tanya has always been my closest friend and most important advisor, but her role has grown beyond such casual titles,” he said. “The ideas she brings to this organization are priceless, and I am so happy to give her a title that fits: CEO.”
It’s the latest step in WFT’s reorganization since July and August of last year when two articles in the Washington Post described how sexual harassment, sexist standards, and verbal abuse had taken over the franchise during Snyder’s ownership, which started in 1999.
Emily Applegate, who worked for the team for one year and left in 2015, told the Washington Post, “It was the worst time of my life.” “And we all put up with it because we knew that if we complained—and they told us this—there were a thousand other people who would take our job in a heartbeat if we did.
Snyder said in a statement that the team had hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to do an independent review after the first report came out.
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society. This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.
“Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations. Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all.”
Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch says that her report has not been finalized or released because a court case is still going on to decide if details from a 2009 sexual harassment settlement in which a former female employee was paid $1.6 million should be made public or kept secret.
Dan Snyder told Beaton that he and the franchise were “not keeping their eyes open enough” and that the alleged wrongdoing was “heartbreaking.”
Snyder also said, “We’re very sorry.” As part of the team’s organizational changes since August, Jason Wright has been hired as team president, Martin Mayhew as general manager, and Julie Donaldson as senior vice president of media.
Tanya Snyder told Beaton, “We need to be involved, and we want to be involved.” “And we need to look at the past, shut the door, and do things differently.”
In March, NFL owners agreed to let the Snyder family buy the last 40.5% of shares in the team from minority owners. This gave the Snyder family full control of the organization.
The Washington Football Team is also in the process of changing its name. Before the 2020 season, it got rid of its old name because it was offensive to Native Americans.
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