The NFL addressed accusations Friday of widespread sexual harassment in the Washington team's organization, saying the league will look into taking disciplinary action. The findings in a Washington Post report are "serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values," the NFL said. Later in the day, team owner Daniel Snyder answered the allegations in a written statement. "The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society," he said. "This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year." The franchise has commissioned an outside investigation, per the Post, and the NFL said it would wait for those results before acting.
The governor of Virginia, where the team is based, called for the NFL to intervene. Commissioner Roger Goodell "needs to step in and get to the bottom of this, and quickly," said Gov. Ralph Northam. The league has been involved recently in getting the team to change its nickname. NFL bylaws appear to allow for forcing the owner out, per Yahoo Sports. The women included in the article did not accuse Snyder of harassing them, but he was reported to have belittled Daniel Greene, a former team executive. The women did believe the team atmosphere and culture contributed to the problem. It's never happened before, but there's room for Goodell to try to remove an owner, and lack of oversight could be grounds. NFL rules say the commissioner can launch "appropriate legal action or such other steps or procedures as he deems necessary and proper in the best interests of either the League or professional football." (Read more Dan Snyder stories.)