Ana Núñez and Melanie Coburn probably hadn’t even returned to DC before Roger Goodell stepped onto the podium, telling the soccer-watching world that protecting the anonymity of accusers like them is the reason the league doesn’t make them public. Findings from an investigation into the Washington soccer team that cost eight figures and took nearly a year to complete.
Nunez and Coburn – the former had worked for the team in sales, the latter as an animator, and then in marketing – took the train from Washington to New York that same day Tuesday to plead, again, that the league raise the curtain on what Beth Wilkinson, the former federal prosecutor hired to lead the investigation, found out during her more than 11 months on the job. They asked for transparency in a letter they delivered to the owners. They asked again by speaking to reporters available for the league’s fall meeting at a posh downtown hotel.
They probably knew, deep down, that the question would always be ignored.
Especially since everyone knows it. This is how the NFL operates.
We have discussed this point before, but the double standard is obvious. We have 243 pages on Tom Brady and Deflategate. We have 144 pages on Richie Incognito and Bullygate. We have 96 pages on Ray Rice. Anyone with Wi-Fi and Google can find those reports easily.
Meanwhile, we got league zero with Jim Irsay in 2014, Jerry Richardson in ’18, or Robert Kraft in ’20. In each case the facts were brought to light by the media or authorities, there was no follow-up investigation by the league, and only Irsay was sanctioned by 345 Park.
In this case, the NFL did an investigation, so give them credit for that. Yet when it came time for accountability, the NFL assessed Dan Snyder with a rare kind of suspension that has been applied so hard that Snyder hasn’t missed a single game – he’s front and center. in the suite every week, and drafted a $ 10 million fine to make it clear that it was the team, not Snyder himself, that was being punished.
Coburn said Tuesday that if a written report were issued, she believes it would reveal “serial sexual harassment [and] serial sexual assault. “Which, of course, would be a problem, just a problem Snyder will probably never be responsible for.
And after that, Snyder’s response, through attorneys and public relations personnel, has been to back anyone who thinks they are suspended or not yet in control of the team, which would hardly give anyone the impression that he is a man who has learned something. lesson. Or you have made some kind of reflection on what you did wrong. Or even have a hint of self-awareness.
Of course he does not do it. So there was Goodell on Wednesday, holding the bag for Snyder, who has not been available to face the music, just as his wife held the bag for him over the summer. Neither Goodell nor Tanya Snyder, Dan’s wife, even remotely pinpointed the owner of Washington. And the reason goes directly back to why Núñez and Coburn said they believe they have not yet received an apology from anyone involved in the case, because such contrition towards the accusers or towards others would be an admission of guilt.
Because of all the things that have happened, being personally held accountable is the one thing we know Snyder will not tolerate.
Some have asked how other owners could endure Snyder relentlessly pushing the brand of one of the NFL’s flagship franchises for two decades and making them look bad over the course of the last year. The answer to that is simple: everyone has skeletons. Nobody wants the precedent of the league being licensed to take away an owner’s equipment.
Trust me on this: it’s definitely not that the other people in that room like, or even respect, Snyder very much. More so, it’s what taking action on it will mean for everyone.
Four years ago, Richardson did the league a favor in a toxic work situation not unlike Washington’s by stepping aside of his own free will, basically admitting that he had brought a bad situation to everyone else, and that it was better sell the team.
Snyder was never going to be that guy. That’s what left Goodell standing there and basically saying that the league was protecting promised women anonymity by not releasing a Brady or Incognito-style report, when there were women involved literally asking otherwise, representing a larger group. of women who wanted the same thing. , five hours before and 50 meters away. That’s what Ron Rivera and others left to speak for Snyder over the last year. It’s what has made this a situation the league will have to continue to consider.
So what can everyone get out of this unseemly situation?
In the NFL, the guys who write the checks also write the rules. And those rules are always subject to change.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.