By:
October 18, 2021

A week ago today, Las Vegas Raiders football coach Jon Gruden resigned after it was discovered that he had sent multiple emails using racist, anti-gay and ​​misogynistic language. The emails were among the 650,000 being investigated by the NFL regarding the workplace environment with the Washington Football Team.

On Saturday, The Associated Press’ Barry Wilner wrote, “The NFL has found no other current team or league personnel to have sent emails containing racist, homophobic or misogynistic language similar to messages written by Jon Gruden that led to his resignation as Las Vegas Raiders coach, according to a person familiar with the documents.”

Wilner wrote that the source “spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not publicly released what is in the 650,000 emails the independent investigators” collected in their investigation. The source went on to say, “The NFL did not identify any problems anywhere near what you saw with Jon Gruden.”

Well, isn’t that convenient.

As ProFootballTalk tweeted, “The AP should have refused to repeat this self-serving statement from the NFL without insisting that someone from the league attach their name to it.”

Mike Florio, who runs ProFootballTalk, wrote, “If that’s the case, let’s have a name. Let’s have an on-the-record quote. Let’s have someone whose ass is on the line if/when someone else gets taken down by the weaponized trove of 650,000 emails, which already has wiped out Gruden’s career and potentially threatens the ongoing tenure of NFL general counsel Jeff Pash.”

The Pash reference was to a New York Times story by Ken Belson and Katherine Rosman: “N.F.L.’s Top Lawyer Had Cozy Relationship With Washington Team President.”

Florio wrote, “So even if someone sent emails not nearly as toxic as Gruden’s, it’s possible that those emails were problematic, but that the league would contend they aren’t. Pash’s are, but the league was inclined to look the other way. For who else are they looking the other way, and is there any way of knowing whether, eventually, they won’t? These are all fair questions, which can be resolved only if all of the emails are released. Indeed, if there are no problematic emails … WHY NOT RELEASE ALL OF THEM?”

This piece originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for Poynter.org. He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
Tom Jones

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