After the first day of NFL owners meetings, Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to the media about the investigation of the Washington football team. He said the league would not release the report because some of the accusers wanted to remain anonymous.
“We are very conscious of making sure to protect those who came forward,” Goodell said. via The Washington Post. “They were incredibly brave, incredibly open, and we respect the pain that they probably went through again to come out on top.”
Despite pressure from former employees to release the report, Goodell went on to say that the league has no plans to release the report. Not yet, at least.
MORE: What Congress Wants From the NFL Regarding WFT, Explained Jon Gruden’s Research
“We think this is the right way to do it,” Goodell said. “We summarized the findings (of the investigation) and made it very clear that the work environment at the Washington Football Team is not what we expect in the NFL. And then we hold them accountable for that.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will not release the findings of the WFT investigation because some of those who came forward requested anonymity: pic.twitter.com/cio2n52xzF
– Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 26, 2021
Interest in the report’s findings increased after emails from now-former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, consisting of homophobic, racist and sexist comments, were released. The surface of these emails is what caused Gruden to quit.
JON GRUDEN EMAILS: Raiders coach resigns after posting of damning messages
Goodell believes the NFL held WFT owner Dan Snyder responsible for his involvement in the toxic work environment that former employees described. The WFT organization was fined $ 10 million, while Snyder stopped participating in day-to-day operations with the team. His wife, Tanya, took over as CEO in his absence.
“I think he has been held accountable for it. And that the organization has been held accountable,” Goodell said. “I think we have given him an unprecedented fine. Dan Snyder has not been involved with the organization for almost four months. And obviously we are more focused on making sure that the policies they had, many of which they implemented prior to this investigation, but also get out of it – they started up and will stay. “
Also, many of the former employees have come out and said they want the report to be public. If they signed up as anonymous, they want to remain anonymous, although that doesn’t mean the report can’t be published at all. One of those employees, Rachel Engleson, tweeted about her frustrations towards Goodell:
This is false @nflcommish. They told us that our identities would be kept confidential in a written report. I mean, if I was talking about something that happened to me, there would be no way Dan or others could trace the information back to me. Not that there was no written report. Let’s go. https://t.co/gVbqnw8PKl
– Rachel Engleson (@rachel_engleson) October 26, 2021
MORE: Jon Gruden’s emails are the only ones in the WFT investigation to justify NFL action
Two employees even showed up at the NFL owners meeting Tuesday to deliver a letter to the league’s social justice committee, asking them to release the report.
WFT accusers Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez are at the homeowners meeting telling their story and personally delivering this letter to the owners. They were part of the investigation. pic.twitter.com/gwn5fORwSB
– Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 26, 2021
Attorney Lisa Banks, representing the 40 former WFT employees who participated in the investigation, also tweeted that Goodell’s reasoning was false, suggesting that her clients also wanted the report released.
Congress has also been involved in the NFL investigation of the Washington soccer team. The House Oversight and Reform Committee sent a letter to Goodell on Thursday requesting all documents and communications about the review to the team by Thursday, November 4.
Goodell said Tuesday that the league will comply.
“We will respond to Congress appropriately,” he said. “Then we will cooperate. We have been in contact and we certainly will.”