A group of former female employees of the Washington Football Team is reaching out to sponsors of the National Football League for help to have details of the NFL workplace probe released.
“When you have a sponsor paying you millions of dollars and they’re telling you, you know what we want to see this, too, that’s going to do the most damage,” said Emily Applegate, who used to work as a marketing coordinator with the Washington Football Team, CBS News reported.
Applegate was the first person to talk about a toxic workplace environment at NFL, which prompted a probe that later confirmed they found evidence of unwarranted culture replete with sexual harassment.
The investigation has brought down at least coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders this week over offensive language use exposed via his emails between 2011 and 2018, which involved homophobic and misogynistic terms.
But Applegate and nine other former Washington staff who joined her to seek assistance from NFL sponsors knew it was only the tip of an iceberg.
“It’s like day three and my immediate boss, who is the CMO, was already saying things to me about the way I looked, my appearance and then it just snowballed,” Applegate told the outlet. “He would take pictures of me on his phone which I didn’t know all the time.”
There was no formal written report released, and Applegate could not help but feel frustrated.
“It’s completely re-victimizing,” Applegate said. “It’s telling us that everything that we went through, every personal detail that we shared, was not important enough to make any kind of change.”
Applegate recognized the importance of not letting the information fade away easily.
“This isn’t just a sports issue, this is an issue throughout any industry. In order for us to make a great change, why not start with one of the most recognized organizations in the world,” she said.
Amy Trask, the first female CEO in the league and is now an NFL analyst for CBS Sports, was not too positive the ex-staff could achieve what they are pursuing.
“It’s a tried and true method, so I’m not surprised that they are doing it, but I don’t know if it will work,” Trask said.
According to CBS News, the most significant penalty was only a $10 million fine for team owner Daniel Snyder.
The probe put enough pressure to have coach Gruden, one of the best coaches ever for the league, resign. Yet, the outlet reported he would still be able to receive his unpaid $60 million for his devotion to the Raiders.