Washington Football Team hit with new allegations of sexism and harassment by former employees

Last month, more than a dozen women came forward with allegations to The Washington Post.
By Doha Madani

The Washington Football Team is facing more allegations of sexism and harassment, among them that a video was created from "outtakes" during photo shoots of cheerleaders whose body parts had accidentally been exposed, according to a report Wednesday by The Washington Post.

Last month, more than a dozen women came forward to the newspaper alleging that they were harassed during their employment with the team. The women said they were the subjects of unwanted sexual comments and were told to wear revealing clothing or to flirt with clients.

Since the original report, a former employee provided the newspaper with videos from 2008 and 2010 in which another producer spliced together video of the team's cheerleaders during photo shoots, The Post reported. The other producer confirmed the 2010 video to the newspaper, telling The Post that there had been a request to make a cut of "the good stuff" from the photo shoots.

"It was extremely unprofessional and perverted, the kind of culture that would only exist in a world where there were barely any women in powerful positions, no human resources and no accountability," this producer, who was not named, told the newspaper.

Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Football Team, looks on from the sideline before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in October 2012.George Gojkovich / Getty Images file

One of the team's former cheerleaders, Tiffany Bacon Scourby, was involved in both photo shoots. She told the newspaper that she was "horrified" and "nauseous" upon seeing the video.

Scourby also alleged that she was propositioned by the team's majority owner, Dan Snyder, in 2004. Scourby alleged that Snyder approached her at a charity event and suggested that she join his friend in a hotel room so they "could get to know each other better."

Snyder released a statement following the Post report denying Scourby's allegation, saying, "This never happened." He criticized the newspaper for what he described as a "hit job" for reporting the old allegations.

"Ms. Scourby did not report this alleged incident to anyone on the team in 2004, in her 8 years as a cheerleader, or at any time in the past 16 years," Snyder's statement said.

Snyder also denied any knowledge of the 2008 and 2010 videos, saying the videos appeared to be "unauthorized or fraudulent." Snyder said he had been "too hands-off" as an owner.

Other employees named in the newspaper's report Wednesday claimed that Snyder oversaw a sexist workplace where women were often treated like "servants." Among the allegations was that an email sent to staff members in 2017 requested that female staff members not be "present in any football areas while the players are here" as part of a new conduct policy.

"Going forward I am going to be more involved, and we have already made major changes in personnel bringing in new leadership to drive the cultural transformation on and off the field," Snyder said.

The Washington Football Team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that an independent investigation into the team's culture was in progress.

"​​​We strongly condemn the unprofessional, disturbing and abhorrent behavior and workplace environment alleged in the report which is entirely inconsistent with our standards and has no place in the NFL," Goodell said.

The Washington Football Team had already hired lawyer Beth Wilkinson and her firm, Wilkinson Walsh, to conduct an independent review of the accusations from last month.