Well this story is simultaneously absolutely awful and yet somehow distressingly familiar to the point of almost feeling like a let-down because…well, did this really surprise anybody? Does it surprise  you that the Skins organization was a misogynistic dumpster of a place to work? Does it really shock you that the same team that was doing horrible things to their own cheerleaders was a shitty place to work as a woman? I think that might be the most depressing thing about this entire article for me. I read the headline and my first thought was “Oh, so it’s just another gross toxic boys club workplace”. I wasn’t outraged. I wasn’t shocked. I was almost disappointed in how…routine it felt.

This shouldn’t feel normal. This shouldn’t be so routine that 15 women coming forward (with untold amounts of more detail either left unsaid or unable to make the story due to lawyer issues) feels almost expected. This story is horrible. It shows just how utterly gross the organization is. Make no mistake, the organization is even worse than what appeared in the article. Imagine all the information that for one reason or another couldn’t go to print. Sources unwilling to come out or commit, legal hurdles keeping things quiet…the situation is worse than reported. My sympathies go out to Emily Applegate, Rhiannon Walker, Nora Princiotti, and everyone else named and unnamed as victims to this gross behavior. This is unacceptable and you deserved support.

Now I fear they won’t even get the proper outrage or justice. Sports media figures and DC area sports journalists have been insufferably smug about hyping this story up all week. Tons of that irritating “Wow if what I’m hearing is true this is going to blow the sports world out of the water” type vague BS by people with “connections”. Just a ton of people who hear stuff and won’t report it, but by golly they want you to know that they know something big. None of them will actually offer details of any sort, they just inject themselves into the story and tease. This led to rampant speculation and had the unfortunate effect of making the story itself into the story. The drama was no longer about the substance of the report. It was about WHEN WOULD WE GET THE BOMB THAT DESTROYS DAN SNYDER, THE SKINS, AND THE NFL? At that point these stupid media personalities and cowardly sports journalists had effectively ruined the impact of what we actually got to read. The story coming out today should have been the start of a massive outrage and call to completely upturn the organization and investigate even further, possibly into other teams. Instead, the story being released into this hyped up waiting public felt like the end of the saga. The release of tension and anger instead of the start. The article was out, it is just another toxic workplace, that sucks. Congrats, you made horrific sexual harassment feel mundane. If you can’t say anything substantial and don’t know what info will actually come out, don’t be a fucking tease. Treat the situation seriously. The stories of these women deserved better than to feel like a let-down after some of the absurd things people were hinting at.

My gut reaction is that this wont do anything meaningful. It reminds me very heavily of two other recent major toxic workplace reports. Riot Games and The Dallas Mavericks. The stories read remarkably similar. In both cases, nothing much seemed to really happen. Mark Cuban caught some flack, fired some people, and promised to do better. Maybe the Mavs got better, but the efforts didn’t seem very serious. Riot Games maybe had a rough month or two but nobody truly important seemed to leave. Both stories just kind of faded. I can’t say I’m optimistic about this one performing differently. We’ve had some turnover and several of the worst people in the article are already fired. But this will probably fade. If the Cheerleader scandal couldn’t get any meaningful outrage (frankly I found that story more repulsive and awful while this came across as fairly expected garbage), I don’t have much hope here.

I know a lot of people, myself included, were hoping the story would be bad enough to get Snyder out of there. Unfortunately the story seems to leave him out of any direct behavior. I don’t doubt he knew about it at all, he’s already earned a reputation as a “meddler” in team affairs so the idea of him not being aware is extremely dubious. If he was unaware, that still makes him a garbage boss who should step down because he allowed this trash to grow under his watch without noticing or taking anything seriously. But something tells me this situation is far from unique to the Skins. It is probably rampant in the entire league. I would bet a significant sum that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have a similar toxic workplace. The Saints have an owner who helped cover up pedophile priests; I bet they got some bad culture too. This isn’t like the Jerry Richardson situation or the Donald Sterling situation. In both of those cases, the story and scandal was directly about them. This one is about the Skins as a whole, so Snyder will slip free unless more comes out. The only way the other owners could force him out if is this manages to cause enough blowback that other teams begin to get investigated, so they take Snyder out as the scapegoat for the whole issue. Again, I have low expectations this happens. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the name change was partially a way to make sure they have a way to get positive press back. It’s disgusting.

If you know of workplace harassment that hasn’t been addressed and you can help by getting involved, please do. People dealing with this in the workplace need your support. The best way to prevent a toxic culture is to speak up and push back against anything that causes this sort of harm. Listen to the stories that women, minorities, and others have to share to better open your own eyes to what can and is happening. That’s how you help. Be respectful, listen, and push back against bad behavior. Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable at work.