Roger Goodell says he has no power to impeach Daniel Snyder as owner of Washington Commanders

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he doesn’t have the ability to fireplace Daniel Snyder because the Washington captain’s proprietor amid ongoing scrutiny of the group’s office tradition and accusations from feminine staff of rampant sexual harassment by crew executives.

Goodell testified Wednesday earlier than members of Congress at a Home Oversight and Reform Committee listening to. In some unspecified time in the future close to the top of the greater than two-hour testimony, Consultant Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) questioned Goodell, who questioned whether or not Goodell and Douri have been “keen to do extra” to punish Snyder.

After initially asking him if he would suggest firing Snyder as proprietor of the leaders, a pupil adopted him up by asking Goodell: “Are you going to take away him?”

Goodell replied, “I’ve no energy to question him, Congresswoman.”

An NFL proprietor can solely be eliminated by a three-fourths majority (subsequently, 24 out of 32) of fellow vote holders, though Goodell has the power to formally suggest such a vote.

Snyder was invited to testify however declined, citing exterior enterprise obligations and considerations about due course of. Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) introduced throughout the listening to that she plans to problem a subpoena to compel him to testify.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to carry Snyder accountable,” Maloney mentioned. That’s the reason I’m now declaring my intent to problem a subpoena to Mr. Snyder for his testimony subsequent week. The Fee is not going to again down in its investigation of Washington’s leaders.

Goodell informed the committee that the crew’s tradition had modified on account of an investigation by legal professional Beth Wilkinson and that Snyder had “been held accountable.”

After Wilkinson offered her findings to Goodell final yr, the NFL fined the crew $10 million and Snyder walked away from its day-to-day operations. Nonetheless, the league didn’t launch a written report on Wilkinson’s findings, a call Goodell mentioned was meant to guard the privateness of former staff who spoke to investigators.

After Wednesday’s session, the leaders despatched a letter to crew workers — a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN — stating, partially, “We consider that statements made within the media vital of our group don’t precisely mirror our constructive transformation and the present actuality of the Washington Leaders Group that exists right this moment.”

The committee launched the outcomes of its eight-month investigation earlier than the listening to Wednesday started, accusing Snyder of conducting his personal “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former staff, rent non-public investigators to intimidate witnesses, and use an abroad lawsuit as a pretext to acquire cellphone data and emails.

The 29-page memo alleges that Snyder tried to discredit folks accusing him and different crew executives of misconduct and likewise tried to affect an investigation with the crew the Wilkinson Firm carried out for the NFL.

Snyder’s attorneys gave the NFL a 100-slide presentation that included “non-public textual content messages, emails, cellphone data, name transcripts, and social media posts of almost 50 people Mr. Committee mentioned.

Requested in regards to the alleged “shadow” investigation, Goodell mentioned, “Any measure that might dissuade folks from progress wouldn’t be applicable.”

In an announcement, a spokesperson for Snyder referred to as the report and the listening to a “politically charged present trial” and mentioned Congress mustn’t examine “a case {that a} soccer crew took up years in the past.”

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who characterize greater than 40 former staff of the crew, once more referred to as on Goodell to launch a report from the Wilkinson investigation, calling it “beautiful and disheartening” to listen to him say Snyder has been held accountable.

“The fee right this moment launched a damning report making clear that Snyder and his attorneys additionally monitored and investigated the complainants, their attorneys, witnesses, and journalists, one thing Goodell was conscious of and did nothing to deal with,” Banks and Katz mentioned in an announcement.

Maloney has launched laws to restrict using nondisclosure agreements within the office and to offer safety for workers whose skilled picture is inappropriately used. Among the many accusations in opposition to the leaders is that the crew’s workers produced a video clip of obscene excerpts from a photograph session by which the cheerleading crew participated.

Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of going after the NFL crew to divert consideration from extra urgent points and past the scope of the committee’s mission.

“One of many main obligations of this committee is to supervise the manager department, however this whole Congress, the Democrats turned a blind eye to the Biden administration,” mentioned James Comer, Republican of Kentucky. “As an alternative, the oversight committee of 1 non-public group is investigating office misconduct that occurred years in the past.”

Leaders coach Ron Rivera issued an announcement late Wednesday night time, distancing himself from the crew’s previous.

“These investigations into inappropriate office points predate my work,” mentioned Rivera, who was employed in 2020. “I can not change the previous, however I hope our followers, the NFL, and Congress will see that we’re doing every part in our capacity to not repeat these points within the office. And know that our staff are revered, valued, and heard.”

ESPN and The Related Press contributed to this report.