How an investigation of the Washington Football Team led to the resignation of the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach

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There were no attackers.

In fact, the suspicious emails were uncovered as part of a league investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team (WFT), which many observers have concerned, the modern National Football League’s efforts to become more inclusive and diverse. Seeing it.
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“The question we should be asking is not really [about] The existence of e-mail, but what is culture in the NFL, period,” said Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic.

“And this culture has existed since the inception of the NFL… It’s all about the people he was emailing. And the people he knew he was emailing back and forth… so If this is the broader attitude, if this is what the group thinks in the NFL, black people have absolutely no chance to lead in the NFL because it’s not just about John Gruden.”


On Tuesday, lawyers for 40 former employees of the Washington football team, whose complaints prompted a league investigation, called for full disclosure of the NFL’s findings.

“It is truly outrageous that after the NFL’s 10-month-long investigation involving hundreds of witnesses and 650,000 documents that pertains to the Washington football team’s long-standing culture of harassment and abuse, the sole person is held accountable. and loses his job. Coaches of the Las Vegas Raiders,” lawyers, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, said in a statement.

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“If the NFL deems it appropriate to release these offensive emails from John Gruden … it should also release findings concerning the true goal of that investigation. Our customers 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.”

The league’s investigation stated that Snyder was responsible for the club’s unprofessional and intimidating culture, and failed to establish a respectful work environment.

Critics called for the sacking of Gruden, who coached the Raiders since the start of the 2018 season. wall street journal reported Friday that he used racially insensitive language to describe NFL Players Association executive director Demoris Smith in a 2011 email.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that it reviewed more emails and found that Gruden employed women as on-field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player, and for national anthem protesters. condemned tolerance.

According to the Times, several emails covering the seven-year period were sent to then-chairman of the Washington team, Bruce Allen, who was fired in December 2019.

A league source confirmed the accuracy of the Times story to Granthshala.

Gruden sent emails while working as an ESPN analyst.

The source said the email was disclosed by the league and submitted to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week. The league sent emails to the Raiders last week, saying it was waiting for the team to review them with Gruden.

“I love the Raiders and don’t want to be distracted. Thank you to all of Raider Nation’s players, coaches, staff and fans. I’m sorry, I never intended to hurt anyone,” Gruden said in a statement. ” by the attackers on Monday.

According to the Times, in a message, Gruden called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “p*ssy” and “f*ggot”. In another, he called Michael Sam a “queer” after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014, and Gruden said the league should not have pressured the team’s then coach to draft Sam, according to the Times. told.

Michael Sam publicly revealed that he was gay before the draft; He eventually never played regular season games in the league.

NFL legend Ryan Russell, who came out as bisexual in 2019, told Granthshala’s New Day League that efforts to make the sport more inclusive should not stop with Gruden’s resignation.

“John Gruden himself wasn’t sending those emails. There were other people who knew about it,” Russell said. “There were others who were involved in the league and it went unchecked for years, so no, resigning is not accountable. It’s not enough.”

NFL reporter Ian Rapoport said Gruden lost credibility within the Raiders’ locker room, especially given Carl Nasib—who became the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he was moving to Las Vegas earlier this year. plays for.

The fact that thousands of emails from the investigation have yet to be made public has many league observers asking who else will be exposed.

“It’s a safe assumption to say that there’s a lot of John Grudens in the NFL and I just can’t believe that this league can really put itself into self-check because it’s the league that wants people.” Buy that they are investing in attacking this issue because they have ‘end racism’ end in end areas, because they have committed to social justice work,” Hill said.

In July, the NFL announced that the club’s work environment was “highly unprofessional” after an independent investigation, specifically for women, fined WFT $10 million.

The fine comes after 15 former female employees and two journalists covering the team accused the team’s staff of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The WFT launched an investigation last July, which the NFL took over in August.

The league promised that $10 million would be used “to support organizations committed to character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships, and related topics.”

According to a statement, the NFL will use the money to fund programs aimed at improving the workplace for women and underrepresented groups.

Gruden’s email was exposed as part of that investigation.

Granthshala’s Steve Almasy, Kevin Dotson, David Close, Jill Martin and Ben Church contributed.


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