Redskins Hire Law Firm to Review Misconduct Accusations

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The N.F.L. workforce in Washington has employed Wilkinson Walsh, a regulation agency primarily based within the metropolis, to conduct “an independent review of the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct,” Beth Wilkinson, a founding associate of the agency, confirmed in an electronic mail.The workforce has not introduced any cause for the evaluate and the N.F.L., by way of a spokesman, declined to remark.The agency was employed earlier this week, after the workforce was contacted by a reporter from The Washington Post who’s reporting on a lot of alleged incidents, in line with an individual acquainted with the investigation who was not approved to talk with the media on the report.The particular person mentioned a lot of the allegations raised by the reporter date again years in the past, however that some had been newer. Wilkinson Walsh was not employed to take care of any article that could be coming from The Post, solely to conduct the inner investigation.Matthew Vita, The Post’s sports activities editor, didn’t reply to emails requesting remark.The choice comes at a turbulent time for the franchise, which has been embroiled in a public controversy over the workforce’s identify and has seen the departures of quite a few employees members over the previous yr.Under strain from a number of of its largest company sponsors, the workforce mentioned Monday that it will drop its emblem and the identify “Redskins,” an about-face by the workforce proprietor, Daniel Snyder, who for many years mentioned he would by no means change the identify, which has lengthy been thought of a racial slur.The workforce is within the strategy of selecting a brand new identify and emblem.At the identical time, an uncommon variety of entrance workplace executives have additionally left or been dismissed from the workforce in current months. In October, the workforce fired Jay Gruden, the pinnacle coach who had a .420 profitable proportion since he took over in 2014. Gruden’s workforce had misplaced its first 5 video games of the 2019 season.Bruce Allen, who was employed as normal supervisor in 2010 and made workforce president in 2017, was fired in December. Larry Hess, the workforce coach for 17 years, was fired in late December. In January, the workforce let go of Eric Schaffer, its vp for soccer operations and normal counsel, after 17 years with the membership.ImageRon Rivera was launched because the workforce’s new head coach in January.Credit…Brad Mills/USA Today Sports, through ReutersAccording to The Athletic, the director of professional personnel, Alex Santos, and the assistant director of professional personnel, Richard Mann II, who was going into his 11th yr with the membership, had been let go final week.When the workforce’s 2019 season ended, Snyder employed Ron Rivera, the longtime coach of the Carolina Panthers.“He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country,” Snyder mentioned in an announcement.Rivera has introduced in new coaches and different entrance workplace personnel concerned in evaluating gamers, a step frequent for incoming head coaches. But Rivera has needed to make a number of key hires and signal free brokers and rookies at a time when gamers and personnel have been unable to travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.Eric Stokes, who ran faculty scouting for the Panthers when Rivera coached there, was lured in to exchange Santos, and Jeff Scott, an assistant below Mann, was promoted to take over for him.Rivera additionally introduced in Rob Rogers, who spent 25 years engaged on wage caps and contracts with the Panthers group, to switch Schaffer.Snyder has not employed a brand new workforce president or normal supervisor.The exodus has not been restricted to the entrance workplace. Larry Michael, the workforce’s longtime play-by-play radio announcer, resigned this week. In a assertion, Michael, who was the voice of the workforce for 16 years, mentioned he was “especially grateful to Dan Snyder for giving me the opportunity.” Michael was additionally the membership’s chief content material officer.Michael declined to remark in regards to the cause for his departure. The workforce didn’t challenge an announcement after he resigned.It is unclear whether or not some or all of those departures are linked to the investigation. Wilkinson Walsh has represented the N.F.L. in a lawsuit introduced by DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscribers, and earlier than founding the agency, Beth Wilkinson represented the league within the in depth concussion lawsuit. ESPN first reported that Washington’s N.F.L. workforce had employed the agency.It isn’t the primary time the workforce has confronted scrutiny over its office tradition. In 2018, 5 former Washington cheerleaders spoke to The New York Times about their disturbing expertise throughout a 2013 workforce calendar photograph shoot in Costa Rica. The journey kicked off with workforce officers gathering the cheerleaders’ passports and depriving them of their official identification as quickly as they arrived at their resort.During the weeklong journey, male workforce sponsors had been invited to look at topless photograph shoots and the squad’s director one night advised cheerleaders to escort male sponsors to a nightclub. One of the cheerleaders mentioned it felt just like the workforce was “pimping us out,” as a result of the ladies felt pressured to escort these sponsors, although intercourse was not concerned.In response to the report, the Washington workforce denied any wrongdoing, however nonetheless performed a three-month investigation into its cheerleading program. A workforce spokesman mentioned substantial modifications to this system adopted, together with the group now not inviting sponsors on calendar shoots, and cheerleaders now not being assigned to work at personal occasions.The final workforce to substantiate it was present process a significant inner evaluate was the Panthers. In 2017, when allegations of sexual harassment had been made in opposition to Jerry Richardson, the membership’s founding proprietor, the workforce employed Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of employees and one of many workforce’s minority shareholders, to steer an investigation into the claims. The league stepped in and employed a distinct regulation agency to take over, and Richardson offered the workforce the subsequent yr.Former Washington gamers weren’t keen to speak in regards to the tradition of the membership. Josh Norman, the workforce’s All-Pro cornerback now with the Buffalo Bills after spending the previous 4 seasons in Washington, despatched a cryptic message on Twitter on Thursday that appeared to reference the occasions surrounding his outdated workforce.“Look Don’t ask me NO QUESTIONS!” Norman wrote. “But I will say this, what goes around comes around. What’s done in the dark will surely come to the Light!”

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