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Lawyers Urge NFL to Release WFT Investigation Findings in Wake of Gruden Scandal

Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, the lawyers representing 40 former Washington Football Team employees, released a statement on Tuesday urging the NFL to release the findings of its investigation into the team

The statement comes just a day after former Raiders coach Jon Gruden resigned after the New York Times uncovered misogynistic, racist and anti-LGBTQ emails sent by Gruden from 2010 to '18. The emails were collected and reviewed by the NFL while it investigated the Washington Football Team. Gruden reportedly sent the emails to then-team president Bruce Allen. 

"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." 

Gruden, who wasn't the target of the investigation, faced immediate consequences once his emails became public knowledge while the details of the investigation into Washington have not been released. The investigation into the Washington Football Team was finalized earlier in the summer and found “the culture of the club was very toxic and fell far short of the NFL’s values.”

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But the NFL did not request a written report of the investigation from lead investigator Beth Wilkinson and instead listened to an oral report because the subject matter was sensitive. The investigation was brought on after the Washington Post reported that female employees of the team experienced sexual harassment in 2020. And later WFT cheerleaders claimed to have been secretly videotaped while getting undressed, and reached a settlement with the team

Washington was fined $10 million and team owner Daniel Snyder stepped down while his wife, Tanya, took on his day-to-day responsibilities for at least the “next several months.”

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Player's Association, told USA Today Sports' Mike Jones that the NFLPA also plans on petitioning the NFL to release the findings of the investigation. Gruden described Smith using a racist trope back in 2011 in an email uncovered and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The news was reported Friday before the Times reported the rest of the derogatory emails.

The NFL later told The Athletic that it had no plans of releasing any other emails reviewed during its investigation. 

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