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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Ex-Washington employees accuse NFL of covering up sexual harassment, assault

Roger Goodell

Two former Washington Football Team employees delivered a letter to NFL owners and executives on Tuesday in which they accused the league of covering up instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault for Dan Snyder’s team.

Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez hand-delivered a letter signed by 12 former WFT employees and addressed to the members of the NFL’s social justice committee. The letter urged the NFL to make public the findings of the investigation into workplace misconduct with Washington. The former employees said they experienced firsthand the “sexist and misogynistic culture of the WFT.” The ex-employees said they believe the independent investigation was thorough but that the NFL is covering up the findings because it is “more interested in protecting wealthy owners and preserving misogynist and abusive structures than in reckoning with its culture problems.

You can read the full letter below:

The former Washington employees also said in the letter that they find it “telling” that Jon Gruden — the coach of another NFL team — is the only person who was penalized or held accountable after the league conducted its investigation. Gruden stepped down as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this month after private emails he exchanged with former Washington executive Bruce Allen were leaked.

Coburn, who is a former cheerleader and WFT marketer, says she is confident the emails would show “serial sexual harassment” and sexual assault if made public.

More than 650,000 emails were collected as part of the WFT investigation. Almost no one believes that the only damaging emails were the ones Gruden sent, but the league is reportedly claiming that is the case.

Congress has also urged the NFL to show more transparency with the investigation. It’s unclear what the next steps will be for the league, but virtually no one believes that Gruden was the only person with problematic emails.

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