Try as it might, the NFL can’t seem to suppress requests for the full results of an investigation into the Washington soccer team that ultimately revealed racist, sexist, and misogynistic emails from former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and led to to his resignation.
There have been requests for journalists, former WFT employees, the Executive Director of the NFLPA and, on Thursday, the United States House of Representatives for the league to publish the findings.
Until now, the league has stood firm in its position that will not launch anything else related to the probe. The league also has said that no other current team personnel were implicated or found to have committed a crime.
MORE: Jon Gruden’s Emails Explained
That was not enough for Congress. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is launching its own investigation into the NFL’s handling of the matter.
This is what we know:
What is the House Oversight and Reform Committee investigating?
The Oversight Committee is the Chamber’s main investigative body and has wide latitude in what it investigates.
The Oversight and Reform Committee is the main investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. It has the authority to investigate matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Committee, as well as “any matter” within the jurisdiction of the other standing House Committees.
In this case, the committee will analyze “the hostile culture in the workplace of the Washington Football Team (WFT) and the handling of this matter by the NFL.” The full statement can be read here. Also in question is the authority and independence with which former federal prosecutor Beth Wilkinson, who was hired by team president Daniel Snyder to oversee the investigation, operated.
MORE: Gruden Admits Insulting Goodell In Emails
The committee is also investigating “the NFL’s lack of transparency about the issues it recently uncovered,” which it says “raises questions about the seriousness with which it has approached intolerance, racism, sexism and homophobia, which makes you feel a troubling precedent for other workplaces. “That’s an apparent reference to Gruden’s emails.
What is the committee requesting?
The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., is requesting all documents and information related to the WFT investigation from the NFL.
The committee is requesting three sets of documents and wants eight questions answered.
MORE: Patrick Mahomes’ Brother Apologizes for Dancing in Sean Taylor’s Number During T-Shirt Retirement Ceremony
- All documents and communications obtained in connection with the WFT investigation, its management, its owners, and any other matter related to or resulting from the WFT investigation;
- All reports or findings made in connection with WFT investigations, including, but not limited to, WFT semi-annual reports, and all documents and notes that refer to or relate to oral reports and findings; and
- All NFL policies and procedures that refer to or relate to the use of confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements by the NFL and its teams.
- What reasons did the WFT provide for requesting that the NFL assume “full oversight” of Ms. Wilkinson’s investigation, and why did the NFL agree to assume this role?
- Describe in detail the role of the NFL in overseeing Ms. Wilkinson’s investigation and what changes, if any, were implemented as a result of the NFL’s role.
- Describe in detail Mr. Pash’s role in the investigations described in this letter, if applicable.
- Please provide a list of all NFL employees who participated in the oversight of Ms. Wilkinson’s investigation, including their names and titles, and describe each of their roles in detail.
- How often did the NFL communicate with Ms. Wilkinson or members of her team during the investigation, and how did these communications occur (for example, by phone, email, or in person)?
- Who directed Ms. Wilkinson to provide the NFL’s oral reports and investigation findings, rather than the written reports and investigation findings, and why? Please provide a list of all meetings or briefings in which Ms. Wilkinson or any member of her team provided final or preliminary findings, interim reports, or readings to the NFL, the dates they occurred, and all participants.
- Confirm the number of confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements reported to the NFL, or entered into by the NFL, from January 1, 2016 to the present, including the names of the teams involved, the dates of the agreements, and whether the agreements resulted of allegations of discrimination and retaliation.
- What actions, if any, has the NFL taken regarding the use of confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements in matters related to workplace abuse since January 1, 2016?
“Pash” refers to Jeff Pash, the general counsel of the NFL. He has also drawn scrutiny in recent weeks on his Friendly relationship with former WFT president Bruce Allen and the emails the two exchanged on a myriad of topics.
In particular, Pash and Allen discussed a perceived bias The league is against hiring Tories, and Pash told Allen that his attempt to cut a player’s salary was “the work of the Lord”. the NFL came out in defense of Pash about the emails, while the NFLPA described them as “absolutely concerning.”
The House committee gave the NFL until Nov. 4 to produce the requested documents and answers to questions. The full letter can be read here.
Will the NFL comply with the committee’s request?
According to CBS Sports, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that the league had received the committee’s letter and was aware of its requests. He declined to say whether the NFL would provide Congress with the requested information.
“We have received the president’s letter and share her concern that all workplaces should be free from any form of harassment and discrimination,” McCarthy said. “We look forward to speaking with your office soon.”
MORE: Gruden, The Only WFT’s To Justify NFL Action In Email Investigation
The league has been adamant that it will not release anything else, although that was before Congress knocked on the door.
According to the committee’s Rule 14, which deals with the supply of documents, if the NFL cannot fully meet the November 4 deadline, you must provide a reason why and you must provide as much as you can by that date. .
“If fulfillment of the request cannot be made in full by the specified return date, fulfillment will be made to the extent possible by that date. An explanation will be provided as to why full fulfillment is not possible along with any partial production, “the rule reads.
The committee set a November 4 deadline for the league to send out all materials, giving the NFL 15 days to comply or explain why it couldn’t.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.