Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org
Former Commanders safety Su’a Cravens did not hold back on his thoughts about Dan Snyder when details emerged earlier this week concerning a 2009 sexual harassment and sexual assault allegation against the team owner.
According to legal documents obtained by The Washington Post, the allegations include Snyder “asking her for sex, groping her and attempting to remove her clothes.” The alleged incident reportedly occurred in a private portion of one of the team’s private planes. Three months later, the Commanders reached a $1.6 million settlement, which the Post reported two years ago.
He quote-tweeted ESPN’s article about the matter on Wednesday, saying, “I can’t wait until this poor excuse for a human being is forced to sell his team! He’s ruined so many careers and made life difficult for so many that did no wrong. Karma really comes full circle. The funds of the wicked will be transferred to the righteous!”
He went on to add, “I love the fact, I have court documents proving the skins [Commanders] tried to hide my injury, falsely accused me of faking, and tried to keep medical documents from me in court and I STILL WON & proved them guilty, but yet people just refuse to accept the toxicity of their fav team sad.”
Cravens ripped the franchise in 2019 for mishandling injuries and withholding medical information. He suffered a concussion during the ’16 season and was placed on the exempt/left squad list in September ’17 after contemplating retirement. This move ended his season although he was cleared for football activities in December ’16.
He also claimed the franchise withheld his insurance money during his concussion-induced absence.
Snyder and the Commanders are caught in swirl of controversy that has caught the attention of Congress, several state attorneys general and now, the Federal Trade Commission.
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform launched a months-long probe is looking into the franchise’s workplace culture, how the league handled misconduct reports and “the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces,” according to the committee’s press release from earlier this month.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Maloney announced her intent to issue a subpoena for Snyder for a deposition. She said, “Mr. Snyder’s refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean to the American public. If the NFL is unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so. The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders.”
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The NFL has shared numerous documents with the committee throughout the investigation, such as a Common Interest Agreement between the NFL and Washington and an engagement letter between lawyer Beth Wilkinson’s firm and the franchise.
However, one key document that has not been released is the findings from Wilkinson’s report. Last fall, multiple women involved in the investigation called Roger Goodell’s statements on the matter false, calling for full transparency from the league. The league commissioner reiterated why he would not be releasing the report during Wednesday’s hearing.
Additionally, the committee penned an explosive letter to the Federal Trade Commission, asserting that the Commanders and Snyder “may have engaged in a troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct that victimized thousands of team fans and the National Football League.”
But new information is still coming to light as Congress continues its investigation.
Prior to the hearing, Rep. Maloney sent the committee members a 29-page memo revealing how the team owner not only allegedly used private investigators in his own probe but also “abused the subpoena power of federal courts to obtain private emails, call logs, and communications in an effort to uncover the sources of the Washington Post’s exposés, undermine their credibility, and impugn their motives.” New allegations of how Snyder handled harassment claims against other executives and the kind of workplace culture he allegedly fostered also emerged. The details can be found here.
Snyder also faces other sexual misconduct allegations of his own. For example, the committee held a hybrid roundtable with several former employees of the franchise, and Tiffani Johnston detailed allegations that directly implicated Snyder, who denied them.
“I learned that placing me strategically by the owner at a work dinner after this networking event was not for me to discuss business, but to allow him to place his hand on my thigh under the table,” Johnston said in her opening statement. “I learned how to discreetly remove a man’s unwanted hand from my thigh at a crowded dinner table, at a crowded restaurant to avoid a scene. I learned that job survival meant I should continue my conversation with another co-worker rather than to call out Dan Snyder right then, in the moment.
“I also learned later that evening how to awkwardly laugh while Dan Snyder aggressively pushed me towards his limo with his hand on my lower back, encouraging me to ride with him to my car. I learned how to continue to say no even though a situation was getting more awkward, uncomfortable and physical.”
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