Civil lawsuit filed against the Washington Commanders, Dan Snyder, NFL and Roger Goodell by the DC Attorney General

DC Attorney General Karl Racine is pursuing Dan Snyder, the Washington Commanders, Roger Goodell and the NFL.

DC Attorney General Karl Racine is pursuing Dan Snyder, the Washington Commanders, Roger Goodell and the NFL. Image: AP

DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced Tuesday that his office will be prosecuting Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, the franchise itself, the National Football League and league commissioner Roger Goodell, and will be filing civil lawsuits against the quartet.

Racine’s office alleges they worked together to mislead Washington DC residents about the NFL’s investigation into the team’s toxic work culture, as well as allegations of sexual assault against people associated with the franchise.

The lawsuit against Snyder and the others cites the DC Consumer Protection Procedure Act, which gives the Attorney General broad powers to hold individuals or a company accountable for misleading customers in the nation’s capital. The law is used here to say that the quartet blocked DC residents from learning the truth about the Commanders’ work environment investigation. Last week, Snyder announced a possible sale of the team, with a group led by Jeff Bezos, Jay-Z, Matthew McConaughey and others reportedly joining forces with interest in buying the franchise.

“For years, the team and its owner did very real and very serious harm and then lied about it to evade accountability and continue to make profits,” Racine said during a Thursday news conference announcing the charges. “So far they seem to have gotten away with it, but that stops today.

“We will issue subpoenas,” Racine said. “We will ask for a statement under oath.”

Lawyers for Commanders John Brownlee and Stuart Nash said in a statement: “Over two years ago Dan and Tanya Snyder acknowledged that an unacceptable workplace culture had existed in their organization for several years and they have apologized many times for admitting it have allowed. We agree with AG Racine on one point: the public needs to know the truth. Although the lawsuit repeats many innuendoes, half-truths and lies, we welcome this opportunity to defend the organization – for the first time – in court and establish once and for all what is fact and what is fiction.”

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And here’s what NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said of the lawsuit: “We reject the legally baseless and factually baseless allegations made by the DC Attorney General today against the NFL and Commissioner Goodell, and we will vigorously defend those allegations .”

Snyder himself is accused of covering up years of harassment, and the NFL is said to have allowed him to do so. There have been fines of up to $5,000 per incident for any party allegedly lying to DC residents since July 2020, when the Washington Post article describing the organization’s toxic workplace was published. Racine said the full penalty could be in the millions, having worked on a similar case in the past where total damages were $10 million.

The lawsuit also targets a court order that would force the NFL to release the results of the league’s Washington work culture investigation. The NFL did not publicly release the results of the Commanders’ investigation, leading to Congress participating in a review of the House Oversight Committee and Goodell testifying before the panel in June.