The Washington Post’s latest investigative report into Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder has already amplified Congressional demands for NFL transparency. By raising the possibility that Snyder ordered the leak of unflattering emails, the story is also poised to affect Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league and Roger Goodell.
The lengthy report, published on Tuesday, contends that Snyder obstructed the league’s investigation into alleged workplace misconduct involving his team.
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The report recalls that a female employee accused Snyder of misconduct in 2009 while on his private plane. The accusation led to a settlement, which reportedly included a $1.6 million payment to the accuser. A decade later, Beth Wilkinson, an attorney retained by the NFL to investigate the team, attempted to interview the accuser. The Post learned that representatives of Snyder offered the accuser additional money if she agreed to reject Wilkinson’s request (in sealed court records, Snyder reportedly denies this portrayal). If the offer happened, it would contradict Snyder’s public assurance that he and his staff would fully cooperate with Wilkinson’s probe.
The Post also details how private investigators working on Snyder’s behalf visited former team employees in ways they found intimidating and inappropriate. These visits occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and while public health officials urged social distancing. They also arose while Wilkinson and her team were interviewing current and former employees.
As to Gruden, the report relays from a “person familiar with the NFL’s view” that someone acting on Snyder’s behalf may have been the source of leaked emails to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Gruden resigned after publication of the bigoted emails, which he wrote while an ESPN employee in 2011 and which were sent to then-Washington president Bruce Allen. Snyder fired Allen in 2019. However, Snyder is said to still…