How an investigation into the Washington soccer team led to the resignation of the Las Vegas Raiders head coach

Neither do the Raiders.

In fact, the questionable emails were uncovered as part of a league investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Football Team (WFT), which is of concern to many observers, given the efforts of the modern National Football League to become more inclusive and diverse.

“The question we should be asking ourselves is not really [about] the existence of emails, but what is the culture in the NFL, period, “said Jemelle Hill, a contributor to The Atlantic.

“And that culture has been around since the very inception of the NFL … It’s about all the people he emailed to. And people realize he was exchanging emails … So , if it’s the ubiquitous attitude, if it’s the group thinks in the NFL, black people don’t stand a chance to be the head of the NFL because it’s not just about Jon Gruden . “

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock reminded reporters on Wednesday of the franchise’s long history of inclusion.

“The way I grew up, the Raiders have always been about diversity,” he said, referring to the leadership of the late Al Davis, the former owner.

“They had the first Latino quarterback, Tom Flores. He also became the second Latino head coach. The first African American head coach was Art Shell. The first female CEO was Amy Trask.”

Mayock said Davis’ son and current owner Mark had gone through a “tough week,” but that Mark Davis – during the CEO’s three-year tenure – had “preached” for diversity and social justice and against domestic violence.

On Tuesday, lawyers for 40 former employees of the Washington football team whose complaints prompted the league’s investigation called for full disclosure of the NFL’s findings.

“It is truly outrageous that after the 10-month NFL investigation involving hundreds of witnesses and 650,000 documents related to the long-standing culture of harassment and abuse within the Washington football team, the only person to be held responsible and to lose his job is the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, “attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz said in a statement.

“If the NFL has deemed it appropriate to release these offensive emails from Jon Gruden… it must also release the findings relating to the actual target of this investigation. Our customers and the general public deserve transparency and accountability. Otherwise, the NFL and Roger Goodell must explain why they seem determined to protect the Washington football team and its owner Dan Snyder at all costs. “

The league’s investigation found that Snyder was responsible for the club’s unprofessional and intimidating culture and failed to establish a respectful work environment.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy said on Wednesday that no further details of the investigation would be released for reasons of confidentiality.

Critics had called for Gruden, who had coached the Raiders since the start of the 2018 season, to be sacked since. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that he used race-insensitive language to describe NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that it looked at more emails and found that Gruden had denounced women employed as field officials, a team drafting an openly gay player and tolerance of national anthem protesters.

Numerous emails, spanning a period of seven years, were sent to Bruce Allen, then president of the Washington team, who was sacked in December 2019, according to the Times.

A league source confirmed the Times story to CNN for accuracy.

Gruden had sent the emails while working as an ESPN analyst.

The emails were discovered by the league and presented to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week, the source said. The league sent the emails to the Raiders last week and said they are waiting for the team to review them with Gruden.

“I love the Raiders and I don’t want to be a distraction. Thank you to all Raider Nation players, coaches, staff and fans. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone,” Gruden said. in a statement released by the Raiders on Monday.

In a post, Gruden called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “p * ssy” and “f * ggot,” according to the Times. In another, he called Michael Sam a “queer” after the player was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014, and Gruden said the league shouldn’t have put pressure on the coach. team at the time to draft Sam, The Times reported.

Michael Sam has publicly revealed he was gay before the draft; he ultimately never played a regular season game in the league.

NFL veteran Ryan Russell, who turned bisexual in 2019, said CNN’s “New Day” league efforts to make the sport more inclusive shouldn’t end with Gruden’s resignation.

“Jon Gruden wasn’t sending himself those emails. There were other people who knew that,” Russell said. “There were other people involved in the league and it went unchecked for years, so no, resigning is not a responsibility. It is not enough.”

NFL reporter Ian Rapoport said Gruden lost his credibility in the Raiders locker room, especially since Carl Nassib – who became the first active NFL player in league history to announce that he’s gay earlier this year – plays for Las Vegas.

Mayock said on Wednesday he had met Nassib and the player had requested a day off.

“He just said he has a lot to deal with,” the managing director said of Nassib. “A lot has happened in the past few days and of course we support this request.”

The fact that thousands of emails from the investigation have yet to be made public has led many league watchers to ask who else would be exposed.

“It’s a safe guess to say that there are a lot of Jon Grudens in the NFL and I guess I just don’t have the confidence that this league can really go into self-control because it’s the same league that wants people to buy that they are invested in the fight against this problem because they have the end of racism in the end zones, because they are engaged in the work of social justice, “said Hill.

In July, the NFL announced it had fined the WFT $ 10 million after an independent investigation found the club’s work environment to be “very unprofessional”, especially for women. .

The fine comes after 15 former employees and two journalists who covered the team accused team members of the team of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. The WFT launched an investigation last July, which the NFL resumed in August.

The league pledged the $ 10 million will be used to “support organizations engaged in character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and related matters.”

The NFL will also use the money to fund programs to improve the workplace for women and under-represented groups, according to a statement.

Gruden’s emails were discovered as part of this investigation.

CNN’s Homero De La Fuente, Steve Almasy, Kevin Dotson, David Close, Jill Martin and Ben Church contributed.

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