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The NFL is under fire from Congress over the league's investigation into the Washington Football Team. Congress requested documents from the league, and questioned whether the NFL was impartial in its investigation.
Two members of Congress, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Raja Krishnamoorthi, signed a letter to Roger Goodell asking for "all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation."
And now Congress is involved: Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney and Raja Krishnamoorthi today sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell requesting documents and information regarding the Washington Football Team’s hostile workplace culture and NFL’s handling of this matter. pic.twitter.com/1Bp5vdLM0n
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 21, 2021
The letter outlined the specific allegations made against the Washington Football Team and addressed how the league has responded to those allegations. The letter then referenced emails between former team general manager Bruce Allen and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash.
Maloney and Krishnamoorthi alleged communication between Allen and Pash may have influenced how the league handled the investigation.
"We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL's handling of this matter. Communications between league management and WFT leadership also raise questions about the league's asserted impartiality in these investigations. In addition, we are deeply troubled by the reported use of non-disclosure agreements to potentially conceal inappropriate behavior, including conduct that is prohibited by federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act."
Congress wants to know more about the investigation to "help inform legislative efforts to address toxic workplace environments."
Congress wants answers from Roger Goodell
In addition to asking for materials, Congress also requested NFL commissioner Roger Goodell answer questions regarding the investigation. Congress wants to know why the NFL agreed to oversee the investigation, whether it made changes to the initial findings by Beth Wilkinson — who was hired by the team to investigate the team's culture — and the role the league played in Wilkinson's investigation. Congress also wants to know about any confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements reported to the league since 2016.
Maloney is the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. The final paragraph of the letter to Goodell states the committee "has broad authority to investigate 'any matter' at 'any time' under House Rule X."
Washington Football Team being investigated for toxic culture
The Football Team is being investigated after being accused of having a "highly unprofessional" workplace. Over 40 women accused team owner Dan Snyder and various other executives of serious sexual misconduct.
Since the completion of the investigation, some of the team's accusers have alleged the team offered payment for silence on issues of sexual harassment. Emails from that investigation between Allen, Pash and former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden were leaked in October. Gruden resigned after it was discovered he made racist, anti-gay and misogynistic comments in those emails.
Those emails made up a small portion of the 650,000 emails reviewed in the investigation. Following the leak of Allen's emails, many have called for additional emails to be released by the league. The league claimed no additional personnel were implicated in the remaining emails, an assertion that has drawn scrutiny.