Over the last couple of weeks, the NFL uncovered a barrage of racist, homophobic and mysongystic emails written by then Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden dated from 2011-2018. The recipient of the emails was the former president of the Washington Football Team (Formerly known as Washington Redskins). After a long weekend of investigations, Jon Gruden resigned from his head coaching duties.
These emails were found during a sweep of over 600,000 emails in total by the NFL as a part of their ongoing investigation into workplace misconduct among the Washington Football Team’s organization.
One of the emails sent by Gruden to then Washington Football Team President Bruce Allen in 2011 described then head of the NFL’s Player Association DeMaurice Smith as “having lips the size of Michelin tires.”
This email came during the 2011 lockout of the players by the NFL, something Gruden strongly disliked.
This recent development in the Washington Football Team investigations not only proves misconduct within the NFL but also increases suspicion around the NFL’s reluctance to release all emails that were found.
The Washington Football Team was fined $10 million by the NFL this past summer following a 2 year long investigation into the team that confirmed workplace misconduct and sexual harassment.
Now, as the Jon Gruden emails are released, the NFL Players Association is calling for the NFL to release all of the recovered emails. This is due to a popular underlying belief that the NFL is holding back on releasing all emails to avoid poor publicity, fines, scandals, and resignations spanning across the entire NFL.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, two prominent lawyers within the Washington Football Team Organization have demanded that the NFL release all evidence related to Dan Snyder, the owner of the team. Beyond this, the NFL Players Association has announced a petition for all emails within the investigation to be disclosed, once again pointing to the growing belief that the NFL has knowledge of far more misconduct than they are willing to release.
As the investigation continues forward, former NFL stars have come forward in support of the NFL Players Association’s efforts to have all emails made public.
“Now this might be collateral damage, this might be something more serious out there that they didn’t let out, and Jon Gruden had to go down for this one. It’s hard for me to believe — 650,000 emails, and this is all you’ve got.” said Shannon Sharpe on his talk show, “Undisputed.”
Sharpe went on to say that the fact that Jon Gruden felt comfortable sending these emails to the owner of the Washington Football Team is enough to rightfully assume that the Washington Football Team’s front office is comfortable with this inappropriate language.
Many continue to believe that the unreleased emails will have far too much damage for the NFL to ever feel comfortable releasing them, no matter the amount of public pressure. These developments clearly point towards the idea that these emails are the tip of the iceberg, one that will inevitably reveal much deeper and more widespread inappropriate conduct within the NFL.