Dan Snyder has been reviled for his insistence in using a racist word as a team nickname, his refusal to consider changing until recently forced to by corporate sponsors. If those were his only problems, he might survive.
But it goes much worse. He has been cultivating a corporate culture of intimidation, a cesspool of sexual harassment and abuse. The complaints and complainants have not named him as a participant, but they do name him as knowing, permitting and condoning it.
After 15 women who worked for the Washington NFL team, in addition to two reporters who covered the club, told the Washington Post the were sexually harassed by other team employees during their tenures, the league released a statement Friday addressing the allegations through spokesman Brian McCarthy.
“These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values,” the statement read. “Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment.”
Snyder and the NFL are just like Donald Sterling and the NBA. When the appalling pair managed to keep their reprehensible behaviour behind closed doors and hushed, the leagues were willing to turn a blind eye. When it hurt their corporate image and profits, then something had to be done.
Which is why it’s laughably hypocritical for Mark Cuban to be lecturing Dan Snyder about “morality”. Cuban and the other NBA owners knew what sort of scum Sterling was, when Cuban’s own team had rampant sexual harassment under his watch.
I don’t believe the claim that cultures of harassment “just happen” and they “didn’t know about it”. They happen because owners and management don’t take steps to prevent them, they don’t provide means for people to report without retaliation, they don’t do better vetting of those hired nor train them properly. When you don’t prevent it, you condone it.
Toxic cultures in the workplace are NOT caused by “blind spots”. They happen because management turns a blind eye – nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.