Since Friday, it’s been presumed by many that the NFL specifically and deliberately released the emails sent by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden to former Washington executive Bruce Allen. The league had not pushed back on that theory until today.
In response to an email regarding a separate issue relating to the Washington emails, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT that the NFL has released none of the Gruden emails to the media.
If that’s true, the NFL should be very alarmed. If that’s true, someone else with access to those emails (and not many people have access to those emails) leaked them without authorization and in direct violation of league policy. Indeed, and as the NFL informed USA Today on Tuesday, the NFL won’t be disclosing any emails due to the confidentiality of the broader process.
So if it’s all confidential and if someone violated that confidentiality by leaking just enough Gruden emails to prompt Gruden to resign, the NFL should be concerned. The NFL should be angry. The NFL should be investigating.
Replying to McCarthy’s email, PFT asked whether such an investigation has commenced. More than two hours later, McCarthy has not responded.
If the NFL didn’t leak the information from the highest levels of the organization, the failure of the highest levels of the organization to do or say something about it becomes, at some point, tacit approval of the leak.
Here’s the reality. Whoever leaked the Gruden emails surely had (and quite possibly still has) access to the other emails from the Washington Football Team investigation. If nothing will be done by the league to determine the leak and plug it, that same person has the ability to leak more emails, whether as to Gruden or Allen or others.
So either the league did it as to Gruden, or some shadowy and unknown force in the league office did it. Whoever did it has considerable power. If the league can’t or won’t plug the leak, the only fair conclusion is that the person has as much power as the Commissioner himself.