With Jon Gruden gone, cheerleaders and players want NFL to release more data: NPR


Jon Gruden resigned his job as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the publication of emails he wrote from 2011 to 2018, while he was an ESPN analyst, to Bruce Allen, then executive of the Washington football team. The posts were heavily criticized as being misogynistic, homophobic and racist.

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Jon Gruden resigned his job as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the publication of emails he wrote from 2011 to 2018, while he was an ESPN analyst, to Bruce Allen, then executive of the Washington football team. The posts were heavily criticized as being misogynistic, homophobic and racist.

John Hefti / AP

Jon Gruden’s exit as an NFL coach prompts the league to release more information about the investigation which has uncovered years of misogynistic, homophobic and racist emails.

Some of the loudest calls come from former cheerleaders and other employees whose mistreatment from the Washington Football Team (WFT) sparked the NFL investigation in the first place.

“This is further proof that the league is just corrupted on a bigger scale than we can even begin to imagine,” Melanie Coburn, former cheerleader and WFT marketing director, told NPR.

Gruden “Only Person Held Responsible and Loses Job” after NFL Thorough Investigation of Washington Football Team, Lawyers Say Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent 40 women and men who worked for the Washington franchise.

Gruden resigned on Monday after the publication of emails in which he used misogynistic, homophobic and racist language. Gruden’s messages were sent to Bruce Allen, then president of the Washington football team, and other white men. At the time, Gruden was working as an on-air analyst for ESPN.

Bruce Allen, then president of the Washington football team, takes the field before a game against the New York Jets at FedExField in Md. In 2019.

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A circle of fanatic comments has been exposed

The content of the messages quickly sparked calls for more emails to be posted, as people questioned whether Gruden’s words should be seen as an outlier or an indicator of the views of others in the world. professional football.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association who Gruden referred to with a racist slur in a post, said what struck him in the emails was the comfort Gruden and others felt in expressing their unenlightened opinions.

“To me, the email was about a bunch of people in an email obviously thinking they’d never get caught, and that just means people are cavaliers when they trade insults,” Smith said. United States today.

He added, “But honestly my biggest take-away was, ‘Wow, that was a bunch of people who were comfortable saying things like that. “”

“These are emails to senior executives with nudity, bigotry, all kinds of hate,” Coburn told NPR.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, speaks at a press conference in 2014.

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Emails reopen painful wounds for Washington cheerleaders

The emails between Gruden and Allen were from 2011 to 2018 – a fragment of a huge treasure trove of some 650,000 messages that were collected during the NFL’s investigation into the team’s abusive and toxic work culture from Washington.

In addition to the inappropriate and rude remarks, the posts “featured photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including a photo of two team Washington cheerleaders,” according to The New York Times.

The cheerleaders who were seen in two salacious videos created by team staff members settled with the franchise and signed nondisclosure agreements in December. Coburn was not in the pictures or as part of the deal, but she says as news of the shared photos emerged, she was in contact with cheerleaders who featured in the original videos.

“They are all traumatized,” she said. “It’s just more anxiety-provoking evidence that very private and compromising content was circulating not only among our team but apparently throughout the NFL. So it’s been touching 24 hours to say the least.”

The Washington football team cheerleaders perform as their team take on the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField in Md. On December 15, 2019.

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Coburn also echoed lawyers’ claim that the investigation’s most high-profile liability case brought down Gruden, rather than the Washington franchise leadership.

“All we wanted from the start was transparency and accountability,” Coburn said, as she called on the NFL to release the full findings of the investigation from an outside lawyer.

NFL Resists Calls to Post Team Investigation Emails

Smith says the NFL Players Association also wants the NFL to release more posts, but for now at least the league seems unlikely to do so. The NFL says it sent Gruden’s messages to the executives of the Las Vegas Raiders franchise.

Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communications, told NPR: “We have not posted any emails during this process and have no intention of doing so.

Still, some of the emails were leaked to The Wall Street Journal and the Times, triggering the departure of the Raiders coach. At least some of the emails emerged this year in a lawsuit brought by Washington team owner Daniel Snyder. But these versions were largely drafted, with Gruden’s name obscured by a tag identifying him only as an ESPN personality.

McCarthy also dismissed a theory that circulated online: that by sending Gruden’s emails to the Raiders, the NFL was retaliating against the coach for bashing Commissioner Roger Goodell in one of the posts.

“Jon Gruden’s emails are appalling, obnoxious and totally contrary to the values ​​of the NFL,” McCarthy told NPR. “We condemn the statements.”

“We have made tremendous progress with our social responsibility, diversity and social justice programs, but we still have work to do,” he added. “Our commitment is unwavering and the progress we have made only strengthens our resolve to continue to improve.”



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