NFL

Congress demands answers from the NFL about WFT investigation

As the fallout of the league's investigation continues, two Democrats have now demanded answers.

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Congress demands answers from the NFL about WFT investigation
Greg Fiume AFP

As the fall out from the NFL's investigation into the WFT's workplace conduct continues, the United States Congress has now become involved.

Congress demands details of NFL's WFT investigation

On Thursday NFL commissioner Roger Goodell received correspondence from two house Democrats. They demanded that the league grant Congress access to the findings of the investigation into the Washington Football Team's workplace culture. The letter from the congressional representatives comes on the heels of leaked emails - from the investigation - which were made public two weeks ago.

In those emails Las Vegas Raiders' coach Jon Gruden - over a 7 year period - was seen to have used racist, anti-gay and misogynistic language in various correspondences with Bruce Allen who was WFT president at the time. The publication led to Gruden's resignation. Calls then increased for the NFL to release the findings of an independent investigation, spearheaded by attorney Beth Wilkinson. To date there has been no formal written review of the 650,00 emails that were collected and according to a league spokesman, the NFL has no intention of release any further details.

Who in Congress wants answers from the NFL?

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), who is the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform along with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) formally requested that the NFL provide various documents as well as answer to a wide array of questions regarding the investigation. They have given a deadline of November 4th.

According to the letter they require "all documents and communications obtained in connection with the investigation into the WFT, its management, its owners, and any other matter relating to or resulting from the WFT investigation." In addition the two representatives would like the NFL to provide an answer as to why there was no written report on Wilkinson's investigation although some 150 people were interviewed.

They added "...we have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL's handling of this matter. Communications between league management and WFT leadership also raises questions about the leagues asserted impartiality in these investigations."

What next for the NFL and WFT?

In the wake of the investigation WFT has found itself reeling. To begin with they were fined $10 million. Then just last week, 10 former employees of the WFT sent a letter to the varying sponsors of the team, including Nike and Amazon, demanding that they place pressure on the league to release their findings. As for Congress' letter, the communication goes on to state,

"The NFL's lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raise questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia - setting troubling precedent for other workplaces."

In response the NFL's spokesman Brian McCarthy stated, "We have received the Chairwoman's letter and share her concern that all workplaces should be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. We look forward to speaking to her office soon."