The NFL Needs To Come Clean On The Washington Football Team Investigation

The league’s public relations apparatus has stumbled. 

The National Football League is a business with 32 individual franchises with a central office to do business on behalf of the franchise partners. The NFL’s central office does not have to answer to anyone except the 31 owners and the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors. It is really nobody’s business what happened in the investigation of the business practices of Daniel Snyder’s Washington franchise. But something did happen. Snyder was hit with a $10 million fine, employees were fired in connection with allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic culture. The NFL’s central office decided to say little more about the investigation. Yet people have sensitive emails and how it works in journalism is simple. You can prove you have the goods, if its legitimate, you leak the information to friendly journalists or in the United States to three papers that seemingly matter, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post. The papers vet the information and then break a story. So far, Jon Gruden, Bruce Allen and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash have been caught up in the email dump. Gruden was forced to resign as the Las Vegas Raiders coach for his emails to Bruce Allen, his former colleague with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Allen was with the Washington football franchise while corresponding with Gruden who sent Allen his thoughts which disparaged a number of people.

It appears Pash and Allen had a very cozy relationship which seems troublesome. The emails have also ensnared the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN football insider Adam Schefter who in one email uncovered had too cozy a relationship with Allen with one of the pieces he wrote. The NFL would have been wise to put out its investigative report on Snyder’s football team but didn’t. Pandora’s box has been opened.

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NFL football commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a press conference ahead of Super Bowl 55, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Perry Knotts/NFL via AP)