The Las Vegas Riders franchise is inactive and the executive is leaving

The Las Vegas Riders franchise is inactive and the executive is leaving

The Las Vegas Riders have been shaken by the massive expulsions of front office leaders, such as serious management errors such as overpaying taxes and underpaying some employees for years.

The latest uproar came last week with the removal of the team’s interim team president. The executive, Dan Ventrell, responded without any explanation, accusing the owner, Mark Davis, whose family has run the team for more than 50 years, of creating a hostile work environment.

It was one of the many examples of a workplace that has been plagued by years of turmoil, and was the latest symbol of the NFL franchise with disturbing interior work. Since the Raiders moved from Auckland, California to Las Vegas in 2020, with high hopes in a growing market, six of the team’s eight top executives have left, either publicly or internally, with little or no explanation. Has been fired.

In interviews with the New York Times, more than a dozen former employees, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they had signed contracts with the team to talk publicly about their jobs. Prohibited from, he described big and small issues. He asserted that his confession had been obtained through torture, and that his confession had been obtained through torture. Shortly afterwards, the team failed to pay their electricity bills at their temporary office, which turned off the lights.

No one has insisted that the amount of financial impairment is due to any crime, but misinformation on company ledgers can usually lead to problems with lenders, regulators, leagues and others.

Employees who expressed concern about the team’s operations were often ignored or pushed out, and settlement and non-disclosure agreements were made to keep them quiet.

“If anyone complained, they were released,” said Nicole Adams, who has been with the human resources department for about five years. She was expelled in late 2020 and refused to sign a separation agreement, which she said would stop her from talking about her time on the team. He said Ventrell, the team’s general counsel at the time, “joked that if anyone came forward with an accusation, they would be prepared to settle.”

Ventrell did not respond to requests for comment, but told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he had been trying to clear things up immediately after his departure and had written to league officials about alleged mismanagement by employees. Complaints were reported.

The attackers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NFL declined to comment Friday. Following Ventrell’s claims last week about the hostile working environment on the team, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league would look into the matter.

“We are aware of these allegations recently and take them very seriously,” McCarthy said.

The elimination of Front Office staff is the latest in a series of setbacks for Raiders. In October, coach John Groden resigned following detailed emails from The Times in which he made homosexual and abusive remarks before his second term with the team. Two players of his time have been charged with serious crimes.

The team’s troubles come at a time when the NFL, more popular than ever with fans, is facing serious questions about the league and the way some teams run. The league has been rocked by a scandal involving commanders in Washington, where dozens of female employees have accused team owner Daniel Snyder and senior officials of harassment. The team was fined 10 million last year and rebranded itself by replacing several executives. A congressional committee and attorney general’s team in Virginia and the District of Columbia are investigating a number of allegations, including financial mismanagement.

Women working at NFL headquarters have also complained about the office culture that has pushed them back, accusing the attorney generals of New York and five other states of threatening the NFL investigation if conditions do not improve. Will do

After years of living in a dilapidated Auckland stadium, the Raiders sought to rediscover themselves in Las Vegas, where they play in a new, heavily subsidized $ 2 billion stadium that will host the 2024 Super Bowl. Ga, which is the biggest event of the league. In 2021, the Raiders’ second season at Elgent Stadium, the team lost 10-7 and lost in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. The team is valued at more than $ 3 billion, with the potential to add more fans to the fast-growing Las Vegas area.

Although many other NFL teams are owned by billionaires who have amassed wealth in other industries, Raiders is a family business. The franchise is largely the brainchild of El Davis, who was the team’s coach and general manager before taking over the property in 1972. Until Davis’ death in 2011, the team was his main business.

El Davis’ son Mark Davis is now the team’s principal owner. Before he took the bold step of moving the team to Las Vegas, he had largely lost his grip and left the club’s daily race to a reliable lieutenant. Among them was Mark Badin, a longtime president who had been close to the Davis family for decades.

Several former employees who spoke to the Times said Davis was rarely seen around the office. Employees said spending was rarely monitored, and money was often spent without a clear calculation of where it was going.

According to some accounts, Davis began taking a closer look at his team’s internal affairs last year. Two former employees said an management consulting firm was brought in to review the organizational structure. And although it is not clear what Davis found, many high-ranking officials – Badin; Ed Vlanoyeva, Chief Financial Officer; And Erasy Grant, the team’s controller – left soon after.

Three months later, Davis explained.

“I think it’s pretty clear now, or I don’t know if it’s clear now, but it was a lot of accounting irregularities,” Davis told reporters at a league meeting in New York. Davis told reporters at a league meeting in New York. “That’s why the CFO left, the controller left and the president left, that’s all.”

Badain and Villanueva did not speak publicly, nor did they respond to requests for comment. But Grant denied Davis’ claims, issuing a statement saying, Or not. “

These anomalies may occur, not to the surprise of experienced employees, who said that the team, which has its roots back in 1960, has yet to modernize most of its work.

“Riders are working again in the Stone Age,” Adams said. Another former employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, said: “Everything is still a lot of paper, files, boxes. There was a warehouse. “

What happened in the higher offices affected the employees below. The workers were systematically underpaid, leading to lawsuits that resulted in the raiders paying more than $ 1 million in settlement. In 2017, the Raiders sued dozens of former cheerleaders who accused the team of underpaying the minimum wage during the 2010-2013 season. The team paid women ڈالر 1.25 million to pay the minimum wage and cover their out-of-pocket expenses.

Chair leaders were not the only employees who were mistreated. Adams, who began working at the Human Resources Department in 2016, said he was asked to provide job details that would make it impossible for employees to file overtime, even during work days, training camps and Other busy periods can take up to 12 hours or more. .

Adams said he told his boss that overtime skirting was illegal. Her boss agreed, but said Ventrell wanted it.

Adams, a black man, filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission against the raiders. In the complaint, which was reviewed by The Times, she accused the team of discriminating against her because of her race and after raising concerns about pay inequality and inequality. Is taking retaliatory action against.

Separately, in 2020, Nicole Reeder, a former employee of Raiders, sued the team on behalf of herself and other Game Day employees, accusing the team of denying them the necessary rest and lunch break. Is breaking the rules and not paying wages on time. The suit was valued at $ 325,000 last year, part of which was distributed to more than 400 affected employees.

Bradley Kaplan, who worked as a scout for 12 years, sued the Riders in 2019 because, he said in a lawsuit, after telling the team that he and his wife had a football season While expecting a baby, she was demoted. He said he was fired when he raised concerns about balancing his football and family responsibilities and asked for leave from his family. The team successfully transferred the claims to arbitration, where they were settled behind closed doors.

Kaplan also claimed in his lawsuit that the Raiders needed some football operations personnel to sign illegal privacy and non-disclosure agreements, which he said would allow employees to discuss their employment matters. Prevent worries about working conditions. The Raiders denied the claims, but agreed to a $ 25,000 settlement in 2021 covering 65 past or present employees who signed an agreement between July 2018 and September 2021 with such privacy provisions.

Legal action is being taken against the team alleging poor working conditions. Matthew Prussia, who works for the team’s clothing stores, The Rider Image, last month accused the team of overtime pay violations and “extensive company policy and refusal to pay full-time overtime pay to Nevada employees.” A class action lawsuit was filed against him for working more than eight hours a day.

The raiders have not yet responded to Prussia’s complaint.

Ventrell, who was the team’s general counsel, was named interim president after Badin’s sudden departure in July. This was followed by a wave of departure of high level employees. Tom Blainda, in charge of stadium construction; Mark Shearer, Chief Revenue Officer; And Brandon Dole, vice president in charge of business strategy, all left the team.

Credit …Ethan Miller / Getty Images

The executing executives had collectively worked for the invaders for more than 100 years, most of their time spanning until El Davis was alive.

“The current people are telling me that culture is worse than what they’ve seen,” Adams said.

A few days after Badin’s departure, business associates gathered in a team meeting room. For the next hour, Groden, who was still the coach at the time, intended to give an enthusiastic speech about teamwork, presenting his message with football metaphors as he walked around the room and He asked the employees to follow their new boss. , Ventrell, according to two former employees who were present.

But over the next year, that “team” will continue to be exposed. Groden left just three months after his speech, and shortly thereafter, employees were given a sudden bonus of either $ 5,000 or one percent of their salary, depending on their position with the team. A former employee who received the bonus felt it was an attempt by Davis to encourage him – but there was more excitement left.

Jim Stratton, who ran the human resources for two years, passed away in April. Employees were notified of his departure in an email stating that they were “no longer with” the team. Jeremy Agiro, the team’s chief operations and analytics officer, resigned in May, just seven months later.

A few days later, it was Ventriel’s turn to go. Davis’s public statement did not give a reason for his dismissal. Ventrell insisted to The Review Journal that he had tried to resolve the team’s problems with Davis, to no avail.

“When Mark was confronted with these issues, he was dismissed and did not show the necessary concern,” Ventrell said.

In the midst of the uproar, some of the team’s top leadership positions have fallen vacant.

According to former colleagues, at least one senior executive has Davis’ ear. Marcel Race, who had been running with the Raiders for seven seasons, was retained by the Raiders in late 2020 after retiring from playing in 2017 and spending time as a football analyst with the NFL Network.

Now, less than two years into the Riders’ front office, he ranks second on the club’s organizational charts – just below Davis – following recent promotions from senior adviser to chief people’s officer.

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