The Washington Football Team has one less item on its legal docket. It likely was not inexpensive to remove it.
According to the Washington Post, the team has settled the civil claims of former cheerleaders arising from the alleged use of video-shoot outtakes for the creation of a lewd video for viewing by high-level executives.
“The matter has been resolved,” said Cindy Minniti, a lawyer representing the organization and owner Daniel Snyder.
The matter has been resolved. Those five words appear in countless settlement agreements that include a broad and strong confidentiality provision. It means that money changed hands, and that no one can publicly disclose the amount that was paid. It means that the settlement agreement includes specific language limiting any and all public comments on the settlement to the utterance of those five words: The matter has been resolved.
Litigation, or settlements before litigation, had become inevitable for Washington. Multiple lawyers represented multiple former cheerleaders in response to an August report from the Post regarding a pair of videos prepared from outtakes, at the alleged behest of former team media executive Larry Michael, allegedly for Snyder.
The franchise recently pressed pause on its cheerleading squad, prompting criticism from former members of the group and from one of the lawyers representing those whose rights allegedly were violated.
“It seems that if you want to improve the game-day experience, you would first look at ticket prices, parking and food — not dismantling a popular and successful cheerleading program,” attorney Lisa Banks told the Post.
The team quite possibly has decided that the cheerleading squad has become an all-too-prominent reminder of the dysfunction that the organization hopes to put behind it.