Commissioner Roger Goodell Says NFL Will Not Release Emails From Washington Football Team Investigation

Amid pressure to release the more than 650,000 emails reviewed during the Washington Football Team workplace misconduct investigation, commissioner Roger Goodell says that the NFL has no intention of betraying accusers who wish to remain anonymous. 

“We’re very conscious of making sure that we’re protecting those who came forward,” Goodell said Tuesday. “They were incredibly brave, incredibly open, and we respect the pain that they probably went through all over again to come forward. And so that was a very high priority for us.”

The investigation into the Washington Football Team concluded in July, with the NFL finding a “highly unprofessional” work environment, particularly for women. 

“Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear,” the NFL said in a statement, “and numerous female employees reported having experienced sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace.”

As a result of the findings, team owner Dan Snyder has not been a part of team activities, with his wife — Tanya Snyder — taking over the daily operations of the team. The Football Team was also fined $10 million. 

“I do think he’s been held accountable,” Goodell said about Snyder. “The organization has been held accountable. I think we did an unprecedented fine. Dan Snyder has not been involved with the organization for almost four months.”

In mid-October, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times obtained leaked emails from the investigation, in which then-head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden, was found to use racially insensitive and homophobic language. Gruden eventually resigned as the NFL and Raiders condemned the language used in the emails. 

Following Gruden’s resignation, calls to release the remainder of the emails from the investigation intensified. 

DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director and a subject of Gruden’s emails, told USA Today that the players association planned on requesting the release of the emails. 

“We have had communications with the league, and the NFLPA plans to request that the NFL release the rest of the emails,” Smith said. 

Smith went on “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” podcast and said that he was interested to see if the emails contained language that shows a racial bias from teams when they are making hiring decisions.

“What I’m interested in — is there correspondence that suggests teams are making decisions about coaches based on the color of their skin?” Smith said. “Are they actively hostile to players that have chosen to

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