NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he has no power to fire Daniel Snyder as the Washington captain’s owner amid ongoing scrutiny of the organization’s workplace culture and accusations from female employees of rampant sexual harassment by team executives.
Goodell testified Wednesday before members of Congress at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. At one point near the end of the more than two-hour testimony, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) questioned Goodell, who wondered if Goodell and Douri were “willing to do more” to punish Snyder.
After initially asking him if he would recommend firing Snyder as owner of the leaders, a student followed him up by asking Goodell: “Are you going to remove him?”
Goodell replied, “I have no power to impeach him, Congresswoman.”
An NFL owner can only be removed by a three-fourths majority (therefore, 24 out of 32) of fellow vote holders, although Goodell has the ability to formally recommend such a vote.
Snyder was invited to testify but declined, citing outside business obligations and concerns about due process. Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) announced during the hearing that she plans to issue a subpoena to compel him to testify.
“The NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Snyder responsible,” Maloney said. That is why I am now declaring my intent to issue a subpoena to Mr. Snyder for his testimony next week. The Commission will not back down in its investigation of Washington’s leaders.
Goodell told the committee that the team’s culture had changed as a result of an investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson and that Snyder had “been held accountable.”
After Wilkinson presented her findings to Goodell last year, the NFL fined the team $10 million last year and Snyder walked away from its day-to-day operations. However, the league did not release a written report on Wilkinson’s findings, a decision Goodell said was intended to protect the privacy of former employees who spoke to investigators.
After Wednesday’s session, the leaders sent a letter to team staff — a copy of which was obtained by ESPN — stating in part, “We believe that statements made in the media critical of our organization do not accurately reflect the positive transformation and current reality of the Washington Leaders Organization that exists today.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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