Attorneys Representing Former Commanders Cheerleaders Renew Calls For Dan Snyder To Sell The Team, Following Robert Sarver Decision
Robert Sarver’s decision to sell both the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury franchises has made waves not only across the world of basketball, but also the world of football. Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz are calling for Washington Commanders Owner Dan Snyder to do the same, and sell the team. Banks and Katz represent more than 40 ex-Commanders employees, including many former cheerleaders. Both lawyers have urged the NFL world, including media outlets, players and fans, to “demonstrate the same outrage and moral strength” as their NBA counterparts.
Sarver will serve a 1-year suspension on top of a $10 million fine. The National Basketball Association finished its independent investigation, led by the New York based law firm Wachtell Lipton, into Sarver and the Suns organization. The league found that Sarver used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statements of others” during his tenure with both the Suns and Mercury franchises.
The NBA also reportedly found instances of “inequitable conduct towards female employees,” including inappropriate comments regarding the appearances of employees and “sex-related comments.” Such disciplinary action by the league did not sit well with the basketball community, as it prompted NBA stars like Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns to speak out in protest. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke to media in defense of his disciplinary actions, saying that he believed the league handled the situation “in a fair manner.”
Both Banks and Katz highlighted Sarver’s decision to sell both franchises as an “important step” towards ultimately holding all team owners accountable for their actions and conduct. They also noted that Sarver’s decision was not a result of pressure from Silver, but rather from fellow NBA players, Jahm Najafi, a stakeholder in the organization, and corporate sponsors such as PayPal.
“The NFL Commissioner has similarly failed to take meaningful action in response to the serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault, as well as financial improprieties, brought against the Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder,” they added. “We now need the NFL community, including players, owners, and corporate sponsors, to demonstrate the same outrage and moral strength as those in the NBA community and force accountability for these egregious actions. Like Robert Sarver, Dan Snyder must go.”
Former Washington employees that the lawyers represent have claimed that they have either witnessed or personally experienced sexual harassment during their time with the Commanders organization. League of Justice has extensively followed allegations made against Snyder by former cheerleaders and staffers, as well as hearings on Capitol Hill by lawmakers addressing the controversy. Snyder recently testified before Congress on the matter for several hours. The audio and transcript of his testimony has still not been made public. Snyder was personally accused of sexually harassing a former cheerleader and of orchestrating a secret video allegedly filmed without cheerleaders consent, which showed their private parts. The team owner has denied all allegations.
The NFL found that the Commanders, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, fostered a toxic workplace that involved sexual harassment of female employees. Several news outlets have reported that Snyder settled privately with at least one former employee, following allegations made against him. The NFL’s investigation into claims leveled at Snyder is still ongoing.
The Washington Post has more HERE.