Instead, Snyder’s response – after rejecting requests for repeated interviews before the story was published – was obfuscated. He issued a statement, posted on Twitter by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Where to start? I would say with the women who were offended, but the only mention of them by Snyder is to question the validity of his claims.
The accusations in the story are more than simple. They are serious. Snyder no doubt believes he faced them head on, because in the first paragraph of his response, he says, “I take full responsibility for the culture of our organization.”; And then he distances himself from the creation of this culture.
It’s really impressive how a boss can be accused of fostering such an environment – repeatedly, over the years, by women who knew each other and who didn’t, many of whom spoke bravely about their experiences – and , essentially, they reject the accusations as either relics of the past or invalid because a particular accuser did not even put his name on them. It doesn’t matter the brave people who did it, the people who understood it, maybe even expected – Remuneration, but it was pronounced anyway.
But that’s how you would react if the walls approached you, which are clearly in Snyder. The strategy here is reprehensible: make a passing reference to responsibility, then attack and deny, deny and attack, not to mention the people who were harmed along the way.
It is noteworthy that the team, Snyder’s team, issued a separate statement that included the following: “Our first concern is the safety and security of our teammates and we have encouraged employees who have lived similar experiences, now or in the past, to denounce it immediately. ”How difficult was that? It is both logical and emotionally empathetic; it is a basic human reaction.
But Snyder himself didn’t say that, because he was too busy feeling the corners of the corner and pulling over. There seems to be a two-tier strategy with respect to the landlord: to say that the allegations are obsolete and therefore invalid; and admitting a certain level of detachment from the franchise, as if to say, “If it hadn’t been for my yacht, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Both denials are horrible. Do some of the accusations go back decades? Absolutely, and what stands out is the story of former cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby, who said Snyder asked her to go to a hotel suite with one of her closest friends at a 2004 charity event. Snyder’s denial led to not only a claim that the interaction did not happen, but another dismissal because Scourby “did not report this alleged incident to anyone on the team in 2004, during her eight years as cheerleader, or to no other in the last 16 years ”, should not have happened.
If Snyder believes this exchange did not take place, it is his right to defend himself. But the claim of an arbitrary limitation period is, at best, special. Women who endure such hostile environments may live in fear that raising objections may affect their ability to stand up and thrive. This is not just for cheerleaders. This is for videographers and executive and internal assistants in public relations and marketing executives. That fear was clearly part of Ashburn’s culture, so the disappointment should not be that Scourby didn’t show up, but that the environment Snyder created made her and others uncomfortable.
Understand the absolute fear these women would have in sharing their experiences, because who knows how they will be thrown out by the men in power? The same men who have already degraded them by commenting on their legs or blouses.
You need to listen to at least any woman (any employee) who takes a step forward and claims that the environment is not professional and unacceptable. Snyder’s statement indicates that this will not be the case.
Now, as for the absence: Snyder said in his statement to Schefter that there should have been more.
“It is true that I have been too practical as an owner and have allowed others to have daily control to the detriment of our organization,” he wrote. “I’ll be more involved in the future.”
Set aside the reaction of the palm to the forehead that any Washington football fan would have to the notion that Snyder’s missing involvement is the problem.
Rather, do the math. From 2008-11, four seasons, I covered the Snyder team, leading to the Ashburn facility every day with players and coaches available. Almost daily during this period, Snyder was in the building, advertised for his car parked on the sidewalk next to the offices, if not leaving it running in place for “Mr. Snyder. ”He was there in practice. He was there overseeing the culture.
Precisely those were the days when former members of the video department alleged that they were ordered to make special rollers to extract from the buds of the cheerleader swimsuit calendar, which the women involved had no idea which were subject.
If Snyder were “too hands-on” recently, that would include the period just over two years ago, when he hired a respected executive, Brian Lafemina, as the team’s chief operating officer. An employee, Rachel Engleson, who went from fellowship to senior director of marketing and customer service, complained to Lafemina’s two top MPs about what she considered a constant harassment of Larry Michael, the play-by-play voice of radio of the team that oversaw all internal services. media.
According to reports, Lafemina deputies were horrified by the behavior denounced by Michael. But what was the result? Lafemina, one of the only hopes for change in the organization, was fired just eight months after her tenure, not because of the culture she was trying to create, but because her income had been pending. If Snyder was so far away as not to know what was going on, why was he committed enough to fire an executive whose people advocated change?
Which brings us to today, tomorrow and the day after.
“I spent the day talking to our @WashingtonNFL family,” tweeted Jason Wright, the new team president Snyder hired earlier this month. “It simply came to our notice then. We will now establish a new culture, take swift and decisive action, and lift the heaviness my peers feel today. Our journey begins now. “
This is exactly correct for the tone and substance, and it is surprising that it differs enormously from the words of the owner. Perhaps Wright, with fresh eyes and perspective from the outside, is the person running the franchise on this journey.
But Daniel Snyder has proven time and time again that it is a journey he is not willing to take.
The environment he created and even fostered should be enough to make his fellow owners want to clean their hands. Snyder’s response, full of denial, devoid of empathy, makes the situation worse. Ashburn dysfunction is not just in the field. It is ubiquitous, rooted at all levels of the franchise. Over the years, there is only one constant: the owner, who has to go there.