ASHBURN, Va. — The much anticipated exposé was published by the Washington Post on Thursday evening. It highlights a rampant culture rife with tolerated sexual harassment that has been brought to light from the allegations of the fifteen former female staffers, highlighted by former staffer Emily Applegate.
In the past week, three Washington employees Richard Mann II, Alex Santos and the radio broadcaster Larry Michael have all either been fired or left the team. All three of these men face the lion’s share of the articles’ allegations. Other former employees like Dennis Greene, former president of business operations and Mitch Gershman, former chief operating officer also levied allegations of misconduct.
On Larry Michael: “Seven former employees said Michael routinely discussed the physical appearance of female colleagues in sexual and disparaging overtones. In 2018, Michael was caught on a ‘hot mic’ speaking about the attractiveness of a college-aged intern, according to six former employees who heard the recording. Michael declined an interview request and retired Wednesday.”
On Alex Santos: “Santos, the club’s director of pro personnel, was accused by six former employees and two reporters who covered the team of making inappropriate remarks about their bodies and asking them if they were romantically interested in him. In 2019, Santos was the subject of an internal investigation after Rhiannon Walker, a reporter for The Athletic, informed club management Santos had pinched her, told her she had ‘an ass like a wagon,’ and repeatedly asked her to date him, Walker said in an interview with The Post. Nora Princiotti, a reporter for The Ringer who formerly covered the team, also said in an interview that she was harassed by Santos. Santos, who was fired this past week, declined to comment.”
On Richard Mann II: “[Mann,] assistant director of pro personnel, who in one text message obtained by The Post told a female employee he and colleagues debated whether her breasts had been surgically enhanced and in another text message told another female employee to expect an ‘inappropriate hug…And don’t worry that will be a stapler in my pocket, nothing else.’ Mann, who also was fired last week, declined to comment.”
On Dennis Greene: “[Greene] implored female staff to wear low-cut blouses, tight skirts and flirt with wealthy suite holders, according to five former employees, including Applegate. Green’s 17-year career with the club ended in 2018 amid a scandal over the revelation he had sold access to Redskins cheerleaders — as part of premium quite packages. Greene declined to comment.”
On Mitch Gershman: “[Gershman] who Applegate said routinely berated her for trivial problems such as printer malfunctions while also complimenting her body. Two other former female employees supporters Applegate’s account of her sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Gershman, who left the team in 2015.”
The story paints a picture of a toxic work environment where employees were “all just afraid for our jobs and trying to make it.” Specifically about Michael, one former staffer put it bluntly, “They’re not going to get rid of ‘The Voice of the Redskins’…over a $30,000-a-year marketing manager.”
Dan Snyder and the Washington Football team retained the services of Beth Wilkinson “to do an independent review of the team’s culture, policies and allegations of workplace misconduct.” This move is looking more and more like lawyering up more than reviewing the team culture.
A week of rampant speculation preceded the publishing of this story What a week for Washington Football.