Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder apologized Friday to former employees who had “traumatic experiences” while working for the team, saying her comments from a recent podcast interview were “taken out of context.”
Snyder appeared on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” this week, telling the ESPN journalist that the past year — when more 40 women said they were sexually harassed during their time with the franchise — was one of the most difficult years in her and her husband Dan’s life. Mrs. Snyder said the accusations were “horrifying,” but did not express sympathy toward the women who came forward. She was criticized in columns from Yahoo Sports and the Washington Post for the remarks, as well as by some former employees who participated in the NFL’s investigation into the matter.
Mrs. Snyder said in a statement that the comments were “selectively quoted” from her interview with Schefter.
“It is disappointing that comments of mine of the Adam Schefter podcast have been selectively quoted and taken out of context,” Mrs. Snyder said. “To be clear, we have apologized numerous times for the difficult and traumatic experiences that certain people who worked for the Washington Football Team endured, and we have promised that nobody who works for the team will ever experience such treatment again while Dan and I own the team. I again today reiterate that apology.
“In addition to our words of apology, our actions – including the many changes made to employee support and training, the leadership team and my taking over the role of co-CEO – demonstrate on a daily basis our commitment to having the Washington Football Team be a professional and respectful workplace, and a source of pride to our employees and the entire community.”
In the 25-minute interview with ESPN, Mrs. Snyder said the last year left a “lump in her throat,” but when asked to explain, she pointed to the “pain” her family endured. She also seemed to blame the media for the reports, saying, “Everyone is going to say whatever, and I guess when you don’t have a voice out there people can say whatever and that has been the case.”
Mrs. Snyder said on the podcast that she tried to stop reading reports containing the accusations because “it just became too much and too ridiculous.” Repeatedly throughout the podcast, Mrs. Snyder noted how she has since taken a more active role in the franchise, going into “action mode” to help clean up the organization.
Days before the NFL announced that Washington was fined $10 million for a “toxic” workplace culture, the team announced Mrs. Snyder would become co-CEO next to Mr. Snyder. As part of the NFL’s announcement of the results of the yearlong investigation, the league said Mr. Snyder agreed to temporarily step away from day-to-day control of the team — with Mrs. Snyder stepping in.
Former employees such as Megan Imbert, who worked as a broadcast producer for the team, took to Twitter and the press to criticize Mrs. Snyder for her podcast remarks.
“This whole thing has been insulting to our intelligence,” Imbert told Yahoo Sports. “The lack of acknowledgement [from Snyder], this self-centered arrogance, that aura of ego we’ve seen and we know. She showed her colors of what that duo really is.”
The Washington Post first reported Mrs. Snyder‘s statement.