- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The director for The Washington Football Team’s former Original Americans Foundation was accused of sexual harassment months into the job, according to a report.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Gary Edwards, who was hired as the director of the foundation that owner Dan Snyder founded in 2014, faced accusations of sexual harassment from a former foundation employee that launched an internal review by the team. A second former employee, who was friends with the woman, said she was also harassed under Edwards.

In November 2014, the first woman filed a formal complaint to the team, writing in a letter that Edwards touched her in “offensive and unwelcome ways,” while buying her gifts and asked invasive questions about her personal life.

After an investigation, the team dismissed the woman’s claims as unfounded, but she later received a confidential settlement after filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The woman, who declined to talk to the Post, signed a non-disclosure agreement.

This is the latest harassment allegation related to Washington’s workplace conduct. Over the summer, 42 women accused the team of being harassed while employed — prompting the NFL and the team to launch an outside investigation to look into the claims.

The team hired prominent attorney Beth Wilkinson and her law firm to investigate, though Wilkinson will now report her findings directly to the NFL after the league took over the case in September.

Under pressure from American Indian activists and lawmakers to abandon the name “Redskins,” Snyder launched The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation in 2014 as a way to make an impact in American Indian communities.

USA Today reported in July that the foundation gave nothing in grants or donations to American Indian causes in the 2019 fiscal year — years after it gave $3.5 million in 2014.

Washington abandoned its Redskins moniker in July, introducing “The Washington Football Team” as a temporary moniker.

The Post reported Wednesday that the team, after letting the paperwork for the foundation lapse, had begun steps to change its name to the “Washington Football Team Original Americans Foundation” before abandoning its pursuit when asked about the allegations made against Edwards.

“We are focused on building a philanthropic strategy that has lasting impact on our communities which includes Native American communities,” the team told the Post in a statement. “We have also requested that the Original Americans Foundation remove any use of the Washington Football Team name, brand, or logo as it is not affiliated with the Washington Football Team at this time.”

The team reportedly declined to release the woman and her lawyer from their signed nondisclosure agreement when asked by the Post.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide