Roger Goodell agrees to testify before Congress, while Dan Snyder declines

·3-min read

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder won't appear at a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform after declining its request Wednesday, according to a four-page letter obtained by Axios.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, however, will appear before the committee remotely to discuss his league's most scandal-plagued team, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Snyder and Goodell were both asked on June 1 to testify at the hearing, which was scheduled for June 22, stemming from the committee's investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct within the Commanders' organization as well as the NFL's internal probe of the allegations.

Karen Patton Seymour, Snyder's attorney, wrote that the Commanders owner remains "fully willing to assist the Committee in its investigation" but Snyder declined the invitation to testify because the committee refused to change the date of the hearing or allow Snyder to send someone else to testify in his place.

Seymour also cast doubt on the committee's promise to focus on only the "historical workplace culture issues" and criticized the committee's refusal to reveal the identities of its witnesses.

A committee spokesperson told the Washington Post the committee plans to "move forward with this hearing" and is "currently reviewing Mr. Snyder's letter and will respond."

Daniel Snyder declined to appear before Congress regarding its investigation into the Commanders. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Daniel Snyder declined to appear before Congress regarding its investigation into the Commanders. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The attorneys for more than 40 former Commanders employees released a statement condemning Snyder's decision to not appear at the hearing:

"We, along with our clients, are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to appear voluntarily. We fully expect the Committee will issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time that Mr. Snyder learns that he is not above the law."

How Snyder got here

This hearing is the result of Congress' months-long investigation into the Commanders following allegations of a toxic work environment and sexual harassment that took place over years and were revealed by the Washington Post in a 2020 article.

The committee asked the league and the team in November to turn over all relevant documents pertaining to its own investigation after the league fined the Commanders $10 million and stripped Snyder of day-to-day responsibilities.

The Commanders are also facing allegations of fraud against the 31 other NFL teams.

More bad news for Commanders

Nothing has gone well for the Commanders this month.

Last week, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio caused an uproar when he called the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol a "dust-up." Players around the NFL reacted angrily and the NAACP called for Del Rio to resign or be fired. Head coach Ron Rivera fined Del Rio $100,000 for his comments.

Star receiver Terry McLaurin is also holding out of mandatory minicamp this week while seeking a new contract.

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