Multiple former Washington Football Team employees have accused owner Dan Snyder of sexual misconduct, including propositioning a cheerleader on behalf of his friend and requesting a video of team cheerleaders’ nipples exposed on shoots.
Former Washington cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby was one of the women who spoke to the Washington Post for an investigation published Wednesday.
“We have a hotel room,” Scourby says Snyder said to her at an event in 2004. “Why don’t you and Tony go upstairs and get to know each other better?”
“Tony” is identified in the article as Tony Roberts, an ophthalmologist and childhood friend of Snyder’s.
In all, the report portrays Snyder as supremely slimy, with allegations touching him directly for the first time. Last month, the Post reported that his former heads of business, media and football departments were chronic sexual harassers.
That head of media was Larry Michael, the longtime radio announcer for the team. Michael resigned last month.
“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,’” a former Washington Football employee told the Post.
Those “good bits” were private parts that were briefly exposed while the cheerleaders were shooting a “Beauties on the Beach” promotional video in 2008.
Brad Baker, the former employee, says his video colleagues secretly edited the video behind closed doors and then burned it onto a DVD labeled “For Executive Meeting.”
Michael denied the allegation, while Snyder didn’t comment. The Post says that it obtained the 2008 “good bits” video and another similar one from a 2010 shoot. A second former employee says that the video was made for Snyder, while several deny it.
“I feel betrayed and violated,” said Heather Tran, one of the cheerleaders whose nipples are in the 2008 video.
Snyder called Wednesday’s report a “hit job” driven by “negative agendas” in a statement. The Washington owner denied knowing the videos existed, and said the team believes the videos to be “unauthorized or fraudulent.” The newspaper wrote that its own analysis and that of a Carnegie Mellon researcher led them to believe the videos were authentic.
Snyder also called Scourby a liar. “I want to unequivocally state that this never happened,” he said.
Snyder did apologize for unspecified “behavior” in the report, blaming it on him being “too hands-off as an owner.” The report portrayed Snyder as a tyrannical boss, sending staffers down two floors for special ice for his Crown Royal and demanding his toilet paper be “folded in a hotel-style point.”
Several more women went on the record about the workplace harassment they endured while working for the team, after only one did so last month. “It was like fresh meat to a pack of wolves every time a new pack of interns would come in,” one woman said.
Women were banned from areas where players were in order to prevent “distractions,” according to an email obtained by the Post. “It has also been requested that, if at all possible, females are not present in any football areas while the players are here,” the email reads.
The person who sent the email, Julie Kalmanides, says that employees above her wrote it.
Under tremendous internal and external pressure, Snyder has rushed through a series of cosmetic changes this summer. He changed the franchise’s name from a racial slur after decades of insisting he wouldn’t. He hired the broadcaster Julie Donaldson to replace Michael as senior vice president of media, and Jason Wright, a Black man, as team president, a first in NFL history. But he only changed the name after heavy-hitting sponsors essentially made him, and he only began reshaping the front office after the initial Washington Post story.
Snyder only owns about 60% of the franchise. The owners of the other 40% are attempting to sell their stakes, and pushing Snyder to sell his. Snyder has sued a media company over false stories it published about his nonexistent ties to Jeffrey Epstein and implied in court that the other minority owners are pushing stories against him.