Thursday's NFL: Washington hires law firm to review culture

Detroit News wire services

Owner Dan Snyder has hired a District of Columbia law firm to review the Washington NFL team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.

Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the firm had been retained to conduct an independent review. ESPN was first to report the hiring.

Washington owner Daniel Snyder

The Washington Post reported Thursday that 15 female former employees said they were sexually harassed during their time with the team. In a statement, the team said it takes issues of employee conduct seriously and, “While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly.”

Within the past week, three members of the front office have left the organization. Director of player personnel Alex Santos, assistant Richard Mann II and longtime broadcaster and senior vice president Larry Michael are no longer with the team. Michael announced Wednesday he was retiring after 16 years.

Also Wednesday, the team promoted Jeff Scott to assistant director of pro scouting and advance coordinator to replace Mann.

Santos, Mann, Michael and former business executives Dennis Greene and Mitch Gershman were mentioned in the Post story.

Washington is in the midst of several months of significant change. President Bruce Allen was fired at the end of the 2019 season, coach Ron Rivera was hired on New Year’s Day and given control of football operations and the team this week announced it’s dumping the name “Redskins” after 87 years.

Allen’s departure coincided with the firing of the team’s previous medical and training staff, and Rivera brought trainers with him from Carolina and hired a new coaching staff.

Panthers to reduce seating

The Panthers have informed PSL owners that there will be reduced seating at Bank of America Stadium this season and has given them the option to opt out of their 2020 season tickets.

No PSL ownership will be affected by decisions for the upcoming season.

The news comes as teams around the NFL have had to adapt plans for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and questions about what the season will look like.

In an email Thursday morning, Personal Seat License owners were informed that they can now choose to not attend any home games this year and still maintain their ownership.

If they have already paid for seats, they have the option to use it as a credit for the 2021 season or to receive a full refund in 30 business days.

The NFL will determine the number of fans in the stands on a team-by-team basis.

While the Panthers did not share with PSL owners an expected number of fans at Bank of America Stadium, which seats just over 75,000, around 20,000-25,000 could be expected at games, per a source with knowledge of the situation.