WFT accusers ask owners to release investigation findings in hand-delivered letter

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Several former Washington Football Team employees who have accused the team of workplace harassment, discrimination, and abuse are asking other owners for help in their quest for transparency and accountability. 

According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, WFT accusers Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez appeared at the owners meetings on Tuesday to hand deliver a letter asking members of the NFL's Social Justice Working Group to push for the release of the findings of the investigation into Washington. 

"The NFL should not be allowed to encourage employees to come forward at great personal risk to speak to investigators, only to sweep the results of that investigation under the rug," the letter reads. 

That investigation was triggered after multiple damning Washington Post reports revealed decades of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, and abuse at the Washington Football Team, primarily directed at female employees and cheerleaders. 

Workplace culture allegedly 'encouraged' by Snyder

The investigation, which concluded over the summer, resulted in owner Daniel Snyder paying a fine and turning over day-to-day operations of the club to his wife, Tanya, for an undefined amount of time. No formal report of the investigation was ever released, no details were made public beyond those in a press release, and no one else was publicly punished. 

However, the investigation resulted in the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. Over a period of more than five years, Gruden and former Washington GM Bruce Allen exchanged emails that contained numerous racist, misogynistic, and anti-gay remarks. Those emails were discovered as part of the Washington investigation, since Allen wrote those messages using his work email. Gruden did not work for the NFL at that time.

Snyder got off light as far as punishment, but Coburn told Breer that the WFT owner "encouraged" the abusive, misogynistic culture of the team. 

'We are calling on you to do the right thing'

The letter ends with an emphatic statement about what the NFL is saying by refusing to release a report of the investigation. If they're not willing to publicly reckon with abuse at the highest levels of NFL leadership, why did they bother investigating at all?

"If the NFL discloses the results of the investigation and takes meaningful steps to address the underlying problems, that will send the message that the League does not tolerate misogyny and abuse. To date, the League has sent the opposite message. By failing to disclose the findings of the investigation, and by ignoring calls to do so by WFT employees, lawyers, activists, and most recently Congress, the League is communicating that it is more interested in protecting wealthy owners and preserving misogynist and abusive structures than in reckoning with its cultural problems."

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