There’s a time-honored tradition when it comes to containing the damage from unfortunate remarks.
Claim they were taken out of context.
That’s what Washington owner Tanya Snyder has done in response to criticism she has received for statements made during the Adam Schefter podcast regarding the controversy that has engulfed the franchise in recent months regarding alleged misconduct directed to female employees.
During the podcast, she complained about the treatment her children have experienced regarding the news of rampant allegations of workplace sexual harassment and bullying. Asked for her reaction to the “very unflattering things” said about the team, she said: “Well, I mean, horrified. Needless to say, horrifying, and I tried to stop reading it all because it just became too much and too ridiculous. But where it puts me is wanting to dig my heels in stronger and get off the bench, stand up, get active and just go into action mode. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.” Via the Washington Post, she did not mention the former female employees who alleged they were subjected to sexual misconduct while working for the team
Tanya Snyder has now issued a statement regarding the blowback she has received.
“It is disappointing that comments of mine [on] the Adam Schefter podcast have been selectively quoted and taken out of context,” Tanya Snyder said, per the Post. “To be clear, we have apologized numerous times for the difficult and traumatic experiences that certain people who worked for the Washington Football Team endured, and we have promised that nobody who works for the team will ever experience such treatment again while Dan and I own the team. . . . I again today reiterate that apology. In addition to our words of apology, our actions — including the many changes made to employee support and training, the leadership team and my taking over the role of co-CEO — demonstrate on a daily basis our commitment to having the Washington Football Team be a professional and respectful workplace, and a source of pride to our employees and the entire community.”
That said, nothing appears to have been “taken out of context,” a statement that applies only where a quote is isolated in a way that alters its broader meaning. For example, she mentioned on a few occasions the events of the last year giving her a “lump in the throat,” and Schefter tried gently to give her a chance to explain that the lump in the throat comes from, perhaps, the knowledge of the gross mistreatment that multiple female employees experienced over a period of years. Instead, it sounded more as if she was upset not about what the employees endured but about the problems it created for the Snyder family, regardless of Daniel Snyder’s role (whatever it specifically was) in creating an environment that allowed for such things to happen.
There’s another possible (if not likely) reason for the criticism. The punishment for the team seems light, and the league went out of its way to avoid transparency, by among other things not having a report generated by the lawyer who conducted a comprehensive investigation.
The truth has been concealed. The league, for whatever reason, doesn’t want it to come out. The team has not yet fully and completely experienced a proper reckoning. Thus, any effort by Tanya Snyder or Daniel Snyder to complain about personal consequences that were far less than they would or should have been will not only fall on deaf ears but also prompt many to pounce on the tone-deaf quality of such gripes and grievances.