NFL still tries to deny documents to Congress

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Photo: Mike Lawrie (Getty Images)

The NFL has proven, once again, that it believes not only to be one of the most powerful and tax-relevant private corporations in the United States (regardless of levels of depravity), but that he also believes the company and its old whites – namely underworld god Roger Goodell and the sometimes racist and often sexist team owners he responds to – are above the law.

When Congress alerted the NFL to its investigation into the league’s management (or mismanagement) of the Washington football team sexual harassment probe, the league said it will cooperate fully. But delays in delivering crucial documents, including more than 650,000 emails, came and went. Now, the league says some of the documents sought by Congress are potentially protected by a ‘privilege’ according to at the Wall Street Journal. The league raised concerns about attorney-to-client privilege, work-product privilege, or a combination of the two.

But Congress, in more or less words, thinks this excuse is bullshit. “The NFL has no valid basis for withholding documents the committee is looking for,” a spokesperson for the committee told The Wall Street Journal. “We expect the League to honor the commitment made by the commissioner and fully comply with the committee’s requests.

Guess who else expects the league to honor its commitments? The former employees and cheerleaders Washington football teams, whose stories have ended in binding nondisclosure agreements and private settlements for years. They want accountability — but responsibility is something the NFL rarely faces. Scandals come and go, and the NFL remains invincible, to the detriment of the well-being, safety and security of dozens of women who have long suffered at the hands of men the NFL raises as model citizens.

Last month, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, began its congressional investigation in the NFL’s handling of the recent Washington football mess. And when I say “mess”, it’s not to trivialize the situation: it was really a lot of lascivious behavior. Women have experienced almost incessant sexual harassment in the workplace (including sexual advances, sexualized comments on the bodies of employees, and after hours, inappropriate texts between a manager and her subordinate); obscene photos were taken of former Redskins cheerleaders at their annual bikini photoshoot; and it was revealed that team owner Dan Snyder had installed a $ 1.6 million sexual misconduct case with a former employee (he and the team did not admit any wrongdoing). In short, the women of the Washington football team were neither safe nor supported at work: they had only one human resources employee for the entire organization, which allowed for the gruesome treatment of last for years.

After an 18-month investigation, the NFL slapped the team with a $ 10 million fine (a paltry sum for a multi-billion dollar organization), judging workplace practices are ‘highly unprofessional’, accompanied by bullying, regular intimidation and a ‘general disrespect in the workplace … both in general and in particular for women “. But the full investigation results were never released, breaking with the NFL’s previous post-investigation transparency protocol. The NFL released some trivial recommendations for the team to improve their workplace (dUniversity education ! More HR representatives! Culture training!), And Snyder Free a standard excuse, but many women affected believed that justice had not yet been served.

Then came the bomb emails from former Raiders coach Jon Gruden that led to his resignation. The contents of the emails had been discovered by the NFL as part of the WFT investigation and “laid back” misogynistic and homophobic language detailed in emails from 2011 to early 2018. Highlights include NFL commissioner Roger Goodell being referred to as “grandpa” and “pussy”. ignorant anti-football ”;”Complaining that Aries shouldn’t write“ queers;”And clearly affirming his contempt for female referees. Worse yet, Gruden has exchanged emails with Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington football team, and other men regarding topless photos of two Washington team cheerleaders – their naked bodies circulated on a plate of candy to feed the filthy hands of rich troglodytes. , without their knowledge or consent. This behavior is humiliating and horrible.

If this was all just an insignificant part of the WFT investigation, what else does the NFL know? What are they hiding in the guts of hundreds of thousands of emails sent across the league? It is what Congress hopes to find out.

The congressional watchdog team finally (and rightly) recognizes the hegemonic power of a league as singular as the NFL – a league that consumes millions of homes every February for the super bowl and permeates macho sports lounges and bars on most Sundays in the fall and winter. The influence of men who enjoy an almost legendary status sitting on their pretty little sporting thrones is undeniable. Player behavior – the sexual misconduct, domestic violence, mental health issues and denunciation of public health mandates – Questions. These men are not just football players; they are idols for young people all over the country. What they say, the causes they defend and the way in which they constantly degrade women in the field are important, because Is the behavior of their owners, coaches and reception staff.

You can downplay the gravity of a few deflated soccer balls, which helped one of your superstars and the most winning teams kiss the kids, “my body is a temple”; Yesyou can to try to minimize the scientific impact of concussions and CTEs over time and pretend your sport isn’t killing its star players. But you can’t downplay these women. These women will not stop until they are heard.

The NFL’s time in court may be approaching. And you can bet there will be a parade of women ready to watch the league and the men it has long protected crash and burn.

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