The sexual harassment and verbal abuse of 15 former female employees of the Washington NFL team, as reported Thursday by The Washington Post, is appalling and unacceptable. If true, and there’s no reason to believe it’s not true, the NFL’s punishment should go to the very top of the organization, to owner Dan Snyder. If you’re running this kind of a cesspool of a sports franchise in 2020, you shouldn’t be running that franchise anymore.

That said, I can tell you this isn’t a recent development within the walls of the headquarters of Washington’s NFL team. It was a different building and a different time, but there were bad things happening to the first woman reporter to cover the team back in the mid-to-late 1980s.

I know because that woman was me.

I was The Washington Post’s beat writer covering the team for three seasons from 1985-87, ending with the Super Bowl in 1988. Those were the days when the team actually won games, and Super Bowls. Even now, I value the time I spent reporting on Joe Gibbs, one of the classiest, most honorable people I’ve ever covered, and his excellent teams. It helped make me the journalist I am today, and for that, I will always be grateful to The Post and to Gibbs and many of his players.

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