- On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Washington Football Team (WFT) investigation is over and none of the 650,000 emails that were gathered will be released to the public.
- Former WFT employees allege the NFL is covering up sexual harrassment and assault by not releasing all of the emails they gathered during the course of the investigation.
- More NFL news here.
Earlier this year, Daniel Snyder and the Washington Football Team were fined $10 million dollars by the NFL after an “independent” investigation over sexual harassment and assault allegations that were leveled against him and his organization by numerous former employees.
Back then, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, the lawyers representing 40 former Washington employees called the NFL’s punishment “a slap in the face to the hundreds of women and former employees who came forward in good faith and at great personal risk to report a culture of abuse at all levels of the team, including by Snyder himself.”
Snyder also reportedly paid a $1.6 settlement to a female ex-employee over accusations of sexual misconduct in 2020.
Apparently, Roger Goodell and the NFL think that’s good enough.
Related: Ex-Raiders CEO Amy Trask ‘Repeatedly’ Reported Bruce Allen For Inappropriate Comments Two Decades Ago
After a review of 650,000 emails following the controversy surrounding Jon Gruden’s emails, Commissioner Goodell told the media on Tuesday that none of those other emails will be made public.
“We’re very conscious of making sure we’re protecting those who came forward,” Goodell said on Tuesday. “That was a very high priority.”
But what it those people don’t want to be “protected”?
My clients did not ask the NFL for “protection” when they participated in the investigation. They asked for transparency and accountability —and received neither. https://t.co/V3JIJjxXzR
— Lisa Banks (@LisaBanksKMB) October 27, 2021
Also on Tuesday, two former Washington Football Team employees, Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez, delivered a letter to NFL owners and executives that was signed by 12 former WFT employees urging the league to make all of its findings public.
In the letter, these former WFT employees wrote, among many things, “By failing to disclose the findings of the investigation, and by ignoring calls to do so by WFT employees, lawyers, activists, and most recently Congress, the League is communicating that it is more interested in protecting wealthy owners and preserving misogynist and abusive structures than in reckoning with its cultural problems.”
More from the letter: "It is telling that after such a wide-ranging, exhaustive investigation
into the culture of the WFT and its owner, the only person to be held accountable is the coach of
another team." https://t.co/NJSpMsezdg
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 26, 2021
These women and the 12 former WFT employees are not alone. The NFL Players Association has also called for the NFL to release the 650,000 emails collected during the NFL’s investigation.
On Wednesday, Raiders owner Mark Davis was asked if he thinks the emails should be made public. His response? “Probably. Yeah, I think so,” reported Albert Breer.
Meanwhile, when he was asked about the results of the investigation, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the media he is “very satisfied.”
“It is truly outrageous that after the NFL’s 10-month long investigation involving hundreds of witnesses and 650,000 documents related to the longtime culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Football Team, the only person to be held accountable and lose their job is the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” attorney Lisa Banks said in a statement two weeks ago.
It’s appalling that these are the only emails they selected to share (bc you know @NFL chose them). Where’s the report @nflcommish?! Now that we know cheerleaders photos were being shared, can we dig into that more please? They deserve to know the truth. We all do. #BoycottNFL 🐟 https://t.co/CHSx0Q2CvU
— Melanie Coburn (@melanietc) October 12, 2021
“I think the emails would show serial sexual harassment, and sexual assault,” Melanie Coburn said on Tuesday. “It’s going to show mistreatment of women, it’s going to show a lot of intimidation and it’s going to show the big boys club that was the Washington Football Team.”
Reportedly, according to the NFL, there is no written report of the “independent” investigator’s findings in the matter, just a series of oral reports given to the NFL back in July. ProFootballTalk.com reported that the NFL knew about the Jon Gruden emails no later than June of 2021.
Goodell also said on Tuesday that WFT owner Daniel Snyder has “been held accountable. More importantly, steps were put in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The commissioner also added that Snyder “has not been involved with the organization for now almost four months.” Instead, the team has been being run by … his wife Tanya Snyder.