- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Two former Washington Football Team employees crashed the NFL’s fall owners meetings in New York on Tuesday to deliver a stack of letters that urge the league to release a full report on the investigation into Washington’s workplace misconduct. 

Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez, two of more than 40 women who say they were sexually harassed while working for Washington, gave the materials to the front desk of the Manhattan hotel where owners are meeting. According to ESPN, they were assured the letters would be delivered to all team owners in attendance.

The NFL hosted its league meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in person for the first time since the pandemic. 

The letter, signed by 12 former team employees, accuses the NFL of sweeping the findings of the investigation “under the rug” and calls for the results to be made public. It is addressed to members of the league’s social justice committee — owners Gayle Benson (New Orleans), Michael Bidwill (Arizona), Arthur Blank (Atlanta), Jimmy Haslam (Cleveland) and Shahid Khan (Jacksonville) — and was copied to the rest of the league’s owners.

“If the NFL discloses the results of the investigation and takes meaningful steps to address the underlying problems, that will send the message that the League does not tolerate misogyny and abuse,” the letter read. “To date, the League has sent the opposite message. 



“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.”

The NFL has said it has no plans to release the findings — even as the league faced renewed calls to do so this month in light of leaked emails from the investigation that caused former Raiders coach Jon Gruden to resign. 

Last week, two members of Congress — House Democrats Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Carolyn B. Maloney of New York — sent Commissioner Roger Goodell a letter that demanded the results of the investigation. The league has until Nov. 4 to respond to the letter, which requested the league turn over documents and answer a number of questions related to the investigation.

When the NFL released a summary of the findings in July, a league official said there was no written report actually created and that the findings were delivered orally to Goodell. This was done, the league said, to protect the confidentiality of those who participated in the investigation and due to the sensitivity of the allegations. 

The NFL fined the Washington Football Team $10 million for having a “very toxic” workplace. Owner Dan Snyder was not suspended, though the league said he would voluntarily cede control of day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife Tanya, named co-CEO, for “several months.” 

Mr. Snyder was reportedly not in attendance at the meetings in New York on Tuesday — and the team was instead represented by Mrs. Snyder, team president Jason Wright and COO Greg Resh.

Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that the Washington investigation was not on the public agenda for the league’s two-day meetings, but could be discussed in an owners-only session.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters he didn’t have an opinion whether the NFL should release its findings.

“I don’t know,” Johnson said. “That’s something between the league and the various people involved in that. I’m not going to really opine on that. We’re here for football.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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