The NFL has been hit with a sexual misconduct investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to an Associated Press report.
The report came after a New York Times report revealed that the NFL, which is owned by the same conglomerate as Fox, was one of four organizations that received a $3.6 million settlement from the department in a class action lawsuit filed in November 2016.
The NFL initially denied the report, but later acknowledged to AP that the settlement was part of a settlement with the Department of Education for not enforcing a policy against using public funds to settle sexual harassment claims.
According to the Associated Press, the settlement included $250,000 for each of the eight individuals who alleged sexual harassment, and $250 million for victims of gender-based discrimination.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the situation in a statement released Monday, saying, “We’ve never had a case like this before, and I know this was not an easy thing for any of us to do, but it is important to acknowledge that we have the resources to fully address this matter.”
Goodell said the settlement is intended to protect “every woman who has been hurt, who has had her career ruined by a sexual harassment allegation.”
The NFL also said it will provide “additional resources and support” to all its employees and contractors.
The Associated Press reports that the DOJ investigation comes after an internal investigation conducted by the New York City Police Department in 2016 found that the department mishandled several cases of sexual harassment involving former players.
The NYPD investigation, which resulted in a summary report, also found that one female NFL employee was terminated after she reported an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.
The Justice Department declined to comment on the DOJ’s announcement.