Under the watchful eye of new president Jason Wright, first-year general manager Martin Mayhew and second-year head coach Ron Rivera, the Washington Football Team is striving to inculcate a new culture.
Unfortunately, the organization is having trouble escaping its deeply-tainted past, which reared its ugly head in assertive fashion this week amid the controversy surrounding now-former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
Gruden resigned on Monday night after the New York Times uncovered racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and flat-out degrading messages he sent via email spanning from 2010 to 2018.
Per the report, Gruden sent those emails to former Washington president Bruce Allen. The duo’s exchange included photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms. One photo is said to have included two WFT cheerleaders.
The NFL collected the emails as part of its workplace misconduct investigation into the franchise. In July, Washington was hit with a $10 million fine and instructed to partake in training of workplace misconduct in areas including bullying, micro-aggression, inclusion, diversity, and implicit bias as a result of the investigation.
More on that in a minute.
In light of these findings, former employees are demanding further action.
On Tuesday, the attorneys for 40 former Washington employees released a statement in which they called for the NFL to release the full findings of the investigation.
Former Washington employees are calling the NFL to release its full findings of the workplace misconduct launched upon the organization.
Here’s the full statement:
"“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,” the statement read. “Our clients and the public at large deserve transparency and accountability. If not, the NFL and Roger Goodell must explain why they appear intent on protecting the Washington Football Team and owner Dan Snyder at all costs.”"
It’s fairly simple to point out the Daniel Snyder-shaped elephant in the room here, folks, though he isn’t the only high-ranking exec with ties to the franchise with blood on his hands.
How could Gruden, who wasn’t even a target of the investigation, be bombarded with consequences (fully deserved ones, obviously) mere hours after his emails became public knowledge, while the full details of the investigation remain filed away behind closed doors?
That investigation, by the way, concluded in July and found “The culture at the club was very toxic and it fell far short of the NFL’s values and we hold ownership to a higher standard,” as Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, put it, “which is why today’s announcement (the fine) is not only about accountability for the past but also ensuring the improvements already underway as the club continues in the future.”
Make of that what you will.