Former employees also accused Larry Michael, the team’s former senior vice president of content and play-by-play announcer, of talking about the attractiveness of a college intern in 2018 when he was being recorded for a team video, the newspaper reported. Michael retired Wednesday.
CNN was not able to reach Mann and Michael for comment Thursday.
Owner Dan Snyder and former team president Bruce Allen were not directly implicated in the sexual harassment allegations brought by the female employees and reported by the Post. But Snyder was criticized for fostering a culture in which the behavior was permitted.
When asked by CNN about the allegations, the Washington Redskins referred to their comments to the Post, saying the team had hired attorney Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh LLP “to conduct a thorough independent review of this entire matter and help the team set new employee standards for the future.”
“The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously. … 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,” the team said in a statement to the Post.
Wilkinson told CNN on Thursday that she was hired by the team to investigate “allegations of workplace misconduct.” She did not provide further details about the allegations.
The NFL said it would meet with attorneys after the investigation concludes and “take any action based on the findings.”
“These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment,” an NFL statement said. “Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so.”
The Post said it conducted interviews with more than 40 current and former employees. Fourteen of the 15 accusers told the newspaper they had signed non-disclosure agreements and feared they could face litigation if their names were used.
Emily Applegate, who was named in the Washington Post report, told NBC News, “Nobody deserves to be treated like that.”
Applegate worked as a marketing coordinator for the team from February 2014 to August 2015. She told NBC her boss often talked down to her. “Any small issue that set him off, set him off like times ten, and that would be when he would curse at me. He would use derogatory slurs toward me,” Applegate said.
“Nobody deserves to be disrespected. And for any of us women that want to get into a career that is a male dominated force we shouldn’t be afraid that these are the things that are going to happen,” Applegate told NBC.
The team has been in the spotlight over the past few weeks as it faced pressure to change its name, which has been long criticized for its racist connotations.
A new name has not been announced yet.
Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera “are working closely to develop a new name and design approach,” the team said in a statement.
The decision to re-examine the Washington name came after pressure from corporate sponsors, including FedEx, and some brands, including Nike and Amazon, removed the team’s merchandise from their online stores.
CNN’s Nicole Chavez and Jill Martin contributed to this report.