Ex-Washington Football Team employees say team offered payment for silence on alleged sexual harassment

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·2 min read

As the Washington Football Team continues to juggle a litany of scandals, some of its most prominent accusers say the team offered a financial settlement in exchange for their public silence.

Emily Applegate and Megan Imbert, two of Washington's many workplace misconduct accusers, told The Washington Post that lawyers for the team offered a payment in February in exchange for signing nondisclosure agreements and agreeing to stop doing news interviews and posting on social media about their experiences.

Applegate reportedly said no specific figure was discussed, but they expected it to be "disrespectfully low." Imbert indicated they had little interest in accepting any offer.

From the Post:

“They were upset about our social media presence and press,” said Imbert, summarizing the message she said was conveyed by Banks. “We turned it down because we see the bigger picture, and we have always been after meaningful change, both within the organization and across the league.”

“It just felt like they wanted to bury this and shut us up,” said Imbert.

Months later, the NFL's investigation into Washington, led by attorney Beth Wilkinson, has concluded with a $10 million fine for the team but no public release of Wilkinson's findings, or even a written report. However, some of what Wilkinson dredged up found the light of day via the emails that led to former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden's downfall.

The vile emails, exchanged between Gruden and former WFT president Bruce Allen, were only a few of the hundreds of thousands reviewed during the investigation.

Lisa Banks, attorney for nearly 40 team employees who have alleged workplace misconduct in Washington, released a statement on Wednesday calling for six of the NFL's top corporate sponsors — Verizon, Amazon, Nike, Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble — to pressure the league into releasing Wilkinson's findings.

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