The pressure is on for the NFL to release the full results of its investigation into the Washington Football Team‘s workplace culture.
On Thursday, two House Democrats sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, demanding the league provide Congress with the investigation findings by Nov. 4 – citing “serious concerns” about a “widespread abusive workplace conduct” within the Washington organization.
The five-page letter — written by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) — also expressed concern about the NFL’s handling of its nearly year-long independent investigation, which provided no written report after interviews with more than 150 people.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy acknowledged the letter via email, writing, “We have received the Chairwoman’s letter and share her concern that all workplaces should be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. We look forward to speaking to her office soon.”
Earlier this month, a few leaked emails – as part of an NFL probe that collected 650,000 of them – exposed former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden for using racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails to former Washington GM Bruce Allen.
Other findings revealed alleged inappropriate photos of WFT cheerleaders that were shared between Gruden and Allen. On Wednesday, a former WFT cheerleader came forward to claim that team owner Dan Synder was behind the email leak to take down Allen, who was fired in 2019.
The NFL’s investigation, led by attorney Beth Wilkinson, provided oral results instead of a written report, unlike other high-profile league probes. Congress made note of this in the letter, as well as the non-disclosure agreements that former Washington employees had signed.
Following the investigation’s conclusion in July, the WFT was fined $10 million. Congress acknowledged the fine and explained, “It appears as though the NFL took no additional action against Mr. Snyder, whom the NFL approved to buy out his minority partners and gain full control of the WFT.”
The letter asked Goodell to hand over “all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners, and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation.”
The letter states, “The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting troubling precedent for other workplaces.”
The letter also included a list of additional requests for the NFL to complete by Nov. 4, and asked the league to detail the role of the NFL’s general counsel Jeff Pash in the probe.
Some emails in the leak highlighted Pash’s close relationship with Allen. Pash is also a top confidant of Goodell.
Since the email leak, former employees – including ex-WFT cheerleaders – have publicly called on the NFL to release the full investigation results.
Last week, 10 former Washington employees reportedly sent a letter to multiple sponsors, including Nike and Amazon, asking them to nudge the NFL for findings of the investigation.
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