The NFL managed to place into a nuclear sarcophagus any and all evidence regarding the chronic misbehavior that happened for years within the Washington organization. The NFL specifically didn’t request a written report, ensuring that nothing will surface — unless the league wants it to.
Earlier this week, someone wanted it to.
Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, who broke the story of the racially-charged Jon Gruden email to former Washington executive Bruce Allen, surely didn’t find it in a dumpster or by hacking the league’s computer systems. Someone wanted Beaton to have it. Someone wanted Beaton to report it. And no one has seen fit to leak any of the emails, other communications, or other potentially embarrassing or troubling evidence regarding, for example, the behavior of Washington owner Daniel Snyder.
Let that one settle in. Snyder’s organization created a toxic work environment, and the league has successfully shielded Snyder from having any of the facts or allegations found during the entire investigation come to light. Facts and allegations that resulted in an eight-figure fine for Snyder and a non-suspension suspension that ends when the Commissioner determines it should end, unless he doesn’t.
This isn’t a defense of Gruden. But he ended up taking shrapnel from the grenade that Snyder somehow avoided.
It’s unclear why the email came to light on Friday. Some in league circles speculate that the NFL wants Gruden to be fired by the Raiders. Others wonder whether the NFL was trying to help NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith secure enough votes to remain on the job, in lieu of having a new executive director who may feel compelled to show up and start potential trouble for the league.
Regardless, someone wanted this one and only one Gruden email to be released to the public. And no one has wanted any facts or allegations directly involving Snyder to be released.
It’s a double standard oozing with irony. Snyder’s mess may take down Gruden. At a minimum, he’s damaged goods. Snyder, in contrast, will write a check and keep on trucking.