DC AG File Suit vs. Daniel Snyder, Commander, Roger Goodell, NFL

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia attorney general said his office is filing a civil consumer protection lawsuit against Washington Commander, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Attorney General Carl Racine announced the civil lawsuit for conspiracy to defraud area residents at a news conference Thursday.

Racine said the team and league violated the rights of Washington consumers because they knew about the organization’s workplace misconduct, alleging that Snyder lied about his knowledge of the situation.

Four posters flanked Racine during his announcement, outlining some of the team’s history of rebranding, including references to DC and its flag and the history of the NFL’s investigation into the organization’s workplace culture.

“Dan Snyder assures fans that he will fully cooperate with the investigation and that the findings can be trusted,” reads one of the posters. “That’s a lie: he repeatedly tried to intervene, and the fans couldn’t believe the results that were never made public. Because Snyder had veto power.”

Beth Wilkinson’s findings were not released in July 2021, when the league fined the team $10 million for having a toxic workplace culture. The final poster reads: “Fan anger intensified when Snyder lied to them: no transparency, no reckoning. This affects consumer spending decisions.”

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, said the civil lawsuit “further demonstrates what we’ve known for a long time: that both commanders and the NFL engaged in deception and lies designed to cover up the team’s decades-long scrutiny. Sexual harassment and abuse not only affects victims of sexual harassment, but also consumers in the District of Columbia.”

“The filing of this complaint also marks an important step in validating the brave experiences of brave men and women and achieving transparency on the scope of misconduct for the first time,” they added.

The attorney general took commanders by surprise by calling the news conference, according to a statement from a spokesman on Wednesday, which it said they learned about on social media.

“Commanders have cooperated fully with the Attorney General’s investigation for nearly a year,” the spokesman said. “Just Monday, a lawyer for the team met with the Attorney General, and at the time he did not indicate that he intends to take any action, In fact, he revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the underlying facts.”

The team is under investigation on multiple fronts, including by the attorneys general in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, Congress and the coalition. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said last week that the review by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White on behalf of the league is ongoing and there is no timetable for when it will be completed.

The Snyders announced last week that they had hired some or all of the BofA Securities Research sales team. A team spokesperson said they were “exploring all options” in relation to the organization, which Forbes has valued at $5.6 billion.

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