Dating back to 2018 when the New York Times published an article detailing inappropriate behavior by officials toward team cheerleaders during a trip to Costa Rica for a calendar shoot, there has been revelation after revelation — secretly taped videos of cheerleaders, unwanted sexual advances, lewd comments — about the toxic culture at the team’s front office under Mr. Snyder’s ownership. Mr. Snyder had not been directly implicated until last week when The Post’s Will Hobson, Beth Reinhard and Liz Clarke revealed the team paid $1.6 million in 2009 to a former female employee who accused the owner of sexual misconduct. The alleged incident, according to the report, occurred on Mr. Snyder’s private plane on a flight returning from the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. In a court filing, Mr. Snyder called the allegations “meritless” and said that the team agreed to pay the woman after its insurance carrier decided to settle. He said a well-respected law firm investigated and found “no evidence of wrongdoing.”
The revelation comes as Mr. Snyder is locked in an increasingly ugly feud with the team’s minority owners who long have been critical of Mr. Snyder’s management of the team and have been attempting to sell their stakes. Each side has accused the other of leaking information to advance their interests and undermine the other side. Whether that was a factor in the surfacing of the $1.6 million settlement is really immaterial to the central issues of what kind of workplace Mr. Snyder has created for his employees and how has he conducted himself.
Mr. Snyder has made public pronouncements about changing the culture of the organization he has owned since 1999. But efforts to seemingly muzzle Beth Wilkinson, the attorney hired by Mr. Snyder in July whose investigation was put under the control of the NFL in August after more allegations about the team surfaced, are troubling. A spokesman for the team issued a statement that the “Team’s intervention is not related to and does not seek to limit Ms. Wilkinson’s investigation, with which the team has cooperated fully. The intervention is solely for the purpose of protecting the Team’s legal privileges and other interests, and all parties, including Ms. Wilkinson agreed to it.”
It will be up to the NFL to conduct an investigation that gets all the facts out and determine if Mr. Snyder should be trusted with owning this valuable NFL franchise.