A former Washington Football Team executive instructed employees to create a behind-the-scenes video for owner Daniel Snyder featuring clips of partially nude team cheerleaders pulled from a 2008 swimsuit calendar shoot, The Washington Post is reporting.
Brad Baker, who previously worked for former senior vice president and lead broadcaster Larry Michael, told the Post in an interview that Michael told members of his staff to make the video for Snyder. Michael denied the allegations when reached by the Post.
“Larry said something to the effect of, ‘We have a special project that we need to get done for the owner today: He needs us to get the good bits of the behind-the-scenes video from the cheerleader shoot onto a DVD for him,'” Baker told the Post.
Snyder and the team provided no comment after repeated requests from the Post.
One of the men Baker said was involved in making the video, Tim DeLaney, disputed the claim.
“I was never asked to create an outtakes video, and I have no knowledge of anyone creating one or even being asked to create one,” said DeLaney, then Washington’s vice president of production and now vice president of broadcast and digital content for the Arizona Cardinals. “I certainly would have remembered that conversation had it happened.”
The newspaper also reported that a former cheerleader, Tiffany Bacon Scourby, said Snyder suggested at a 2004 charity event that she join “his close friend” in a hotel room so “they could get to know each other.” The team’s former cheerleader director was among three people who supported the account, the Post said.
The Post’s 5,500-word story also detailed what several women said was a culture in which women were objectified. Several women told the Post of an informal online “support group” for former team employees. Brittany Pareti, who worked for the team from 2007 to 2012, said of the culture: “It was like fresh meat to a pack of wolves every time a new pack of interns would come in. It was like a frat house, with men lined up in the lobby watching women walk in and out. You constantly felt there were eyes on you.”
A 2017 email sent by Julie Kalmanides, the team’s only human resources employee at the time, said, “It has also been requested that, if at all possible, females are not present in any football areas while the players are here.” Kalmanides told the Post that senior executives wrote the email and she distributed it.
Twenty-five women have spoken to the Post about experiencing sexual harassment while working for the team. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because of nondisclosure agreements or fear of reprisal.
The latest revelations come amid Snyder’s stated commitment to improving the culture inside the team following allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic workplace culture spanning from 2006 to 2019. In July, a letter, obtained by ESPN, was signed by Snyder and his wife, Tanya, and sent to each member of the organization. In it, the Snyders apologized on behalf of the team and asked for everybody’s help “to build a better organizational culture.”
The NFL has said it will wait for a law firm’s review of the organization’s culture before taking action.