Member of Congress fears Jon Gruden emails are the “tip of the iceberg”

Postal Hearing at House Oversight
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The U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee wants to learn more about the Washington Football Team workplace investigation that resulted in a leak of emails that triggered the abrupt resignation of Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Via John Keim of ESPN.com, one of the representatives who signed Thursday’s letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell fears that the Gruden emails represent the “tip of the iceberg.”

“The way they handle issues of race and gender and the way they treat their employees really influences the way society handles those very issues,” Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) told Keim. “We’re very much interested in learning more about exactly why the NFL did what they did and the way they did it.”

Krishnamoorthi (pictured) justified the probe by pointing to the fact that the NFL “holds a special place in American life.”

The NFL also secures significant public funding for stadiums, generates billions from public interest in the product, and enjoys a Congressionally-granted exemption from antitrust liability for broadcast negotiations. Krishnamoorthi alluded to the latter in his comments to Keim.

“The Washington Football Team and the NFL enjoy special privileges under our antitrust laws,” Krishnamoorthi told Keim. “We thought it was important to get to the bottom of what’s going on in the NFL, in regards to the Washington Football Team in the way they handled their employees. What we’ve seen so far is deeply disturbing.”

The question is whether Gruden is an outlier or a symptom of a deeper problem.

“The biggest fear is that what Jon Gruden appears to engage in is much more common than what we otherwise thought,” Krishnamoorthi told Keim. “That’s what a lot of people are concerned about.”

The NFL has said it “look[s] forward” to communicating with Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Committee. However, the league has said nothing about cooperating with the request that a wide range of documents and information be provided. If the NFL refuses to comply voluntarily, subpoenas could be issued.

“If the NFL were not to cooperate after we attempted to work with them to enlist their cooperation, then we do have the tools to compel the production of documents,” Krishnamoorthi told Keim. “But our hope is it doesn’t get there. I hope we can work with them to get this information.”

The league has repeatedly said it won’t disclose the results of the investigation. The question becomes whether the league will unleash the legal hounds to fight Congress, in the same way the league has fought the litigation over the relocation of the Rams. Then, the question becomes whether the league will erect fair and proper barriers, or whether it will engage in the same game of “three-card monte” of which the judge in St. Louis recently accused some owners of playing.

Regardless, the truth needs to come out. Someone within the NFL is hiding it. The harder they try to hide it, the harder the efforts to get to the truth should proceed.

49 responses to “Member of Congress fears Jon Gruden emails are the “tip of the iceberg”

  1. I just have a hard time believing anything tangible will come of this. Maybe I’m a pessimist here, but I can’t picture congress putting more effort into this (years worth would be required) than the effort owners will put in to fight it off.
    We’ve all seen in recent years that high profile people find a way to ignore subpoenas without real punishment. “If you don’t like the facts against you, just argue against the process.” That unfortunately works a lot of the time, or at least slows down proceedings to a snails pace.

    From the film Thank You For Smoking…
    Son – “Dad, what makes America the greatest country in the world?”
    Lobbyist Father – “Our endless appeals system”

  2. The NFL is getting too big for it’s britches. The chickens are coming home to rooster!

  3. “Regardless, the truth needs to come out.”

    +++++

    Doesn’t Congress have more important truths to discover and/or disclose?

    If they don’t they should.

  4. Coach Gruden can engineer a nice payout because of this farce. My hope is he hires a shark attorney and settles for a nice payday.

  5. We are about to see that “privilege” does not come from one’s age, sex, or the color of one’s skin, but rather from the money in one’s bank accounts and the political power of one’s friends.

  6. Things could really get ugly for Rodger and the NFL For all the the folks who want him out, this could do it, along with what is uncovered in the St.Louis fan base ripoff. Wonder how no longer having anti trust protection would affect the league?

  7. Jon Gruden would never say he is the tip of the iceberg.

    Jon Gruden would say he IS the iceberg.

  8. How about writing a bill that makes it illegal to use taxpayer funds to subsidize entertainment industries? There are much more worthy and productive ways of spending taxpayer money. Let it all come out. Then let Americans decide if they want their taxes spent on building billion-dollar stadiums for profit-driven, racist organizations.

  9. For the love of god, please stop worrying about this nonsense and PASS A BILL OR SOMETHING

  10. Maybe they should look at their own emails and those holding and dis hold the highest elected offices before they investigate the “game” of football!

  11. I’m sure that there are emails that implicate members of Congress in this game of “gotcha”.

    This congressman either wants to destroy any evidence of his or his buddies’ thinking or to have dirt on other members.

  12. Seems to me our legislators have a lot bigger problems they should be dealing with than this right now.

  13. Maybe the NFL can open an investigation into all the insider trading that goes on in Congress.

  14. redclaw1314 says:
    October 23, 2021 at 4:28 am
    The government has better things to do—let the NFL deal with its own mess.

    ——

    You mean how they do their own “investigation” and “find nothing”? Are you even paying any attention to what’s going on here at all?

  15. This has all the earmarks of a classic fishing expedition. All sorts of private corporations receive special treatment by way of subsidies and/or exemption from various laws and regulations from all levels of government. I don’t recall ever seeing such a wide open request for documents from a corporation without anything other than a vague suspicion to justify it. I would be more impressed if Congress were to set an example for the NFL and others (including the taxpayers) by releasing such documents from their own records.

  16. If you want a safe cracked open you wouldn’t hire a plumber you would hire a professional person who has the knowledge and experience ofdoing the job right. With all the dirty dealing back room deviant underhanded deals politicians are used to dealing with, Congress is the right person for this job.
    Until they discover they are a dog chasing their own tail.
    When that happens the story quickly dies out and get swept under the rug

  17. This is laughable. Congress is a joke. They should investigate themselves first and reform.

  18. The NFL is just going to try to run out the clock on this one. They probably figure they can bog things down until the republicans retake congress, at which point this investigation will just go away.

  19. Gas prices up 50%, electric prices skyrocket, 1/3rd of Americans admit to skipping meals do to expensive groceries. Supply chain shortages, empty shelves and what are these politicians worried about? Nfl emails….

    Elections matter folks, remember that in 24

  20. As a result of this, it would be great if Congress prohibited any more public funding for stadiums. One can dream.

  21. All of this happened because John gruden called Roger Goodell a name and hurt his feelings and his ego.

  22. rohinaz says:
    October 23, 2021 at 10:28 am
    Gas prices up 50%, electric prices skyrocket, 1/3rd of Americans admit to skipping meals do to expensive groceries. Supply chain shortages, empty shelves and what are these politicians worried about? Nfl emails….

    Elections matter folks, remember that in 24
    __________

    Yes, let’s remember 16, when a guy was elected who intentionally ignored a worldwide pandemic resulting in not only 750,000 American deaths, but also the issues (to the extent that they actually exist) you list above. If reasonable precautions had been followed early on the pandemic would be over in the US and any supply chain problems, ect. would also be over. Unfortunately, the 16 guy decided to call the pandemic a hoax and to continually rail against masks, social distancing, and vaccines.

    Please remember that come 2024.

  23. Bottom line: Congress getting involved in this is another great deflection by the government. I can think of other emails they should be investigating!

  24. Keep politics out of sports, they have lost enough fans from disrespecting the flag and anthem. Stop buying into this garbage and contributing to the destruction of the free world.

  25. bstngrdn says:
    October 23, 2021 at 9:32 am

    This has all the earmarks of a classic fishing expedition. All sorts of private corporations receive special treatment by way of subsidies and/or exemption from various laws and regulations from all levels of government. I don’t recall ever seeing such a wide open request for documents from a corporation without anything other than a vague suspicion to justify it. I would be more impressed if Congress were to set an example for the NFL and others (including the taxpayers) by releasing such documents from their own records.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    “Fishing expedition” or “witch hunt” — we’ve heard that before — recently. Thing is, it’s those fishes and witches complaining loudest that get hooked up when the facts those fish and witches chose to bury finally get out.

  26. If the NFL is forced to release the emails, it could mean the end of the NFL as we know it.

    The fact is that many owners and coaches are nasty people….racists, misogynists. Rich people tend to be able to get away with things that would get the rest of us fired. IF the truth about them comes out, it will be a huge mess.

  27. The Anti-trust exemption is what allows the NFL to print money…there should be accountability….problem is, the oversight body is even more corrupt than the NFL.
    What a joke.

  28. NFL will just wait them out. Soon the politicians will be onto the next injustice they want to make it look like they want to correct.

  29. Ever since Goodell took over from Paul Tagliabue in 2006, the League office has been all about secrecy and money grabbing. Within six years after taking over, Goodell was making more than five times what Tagliabue made. So what did the NFL do? They gave up their tax-exempt status so that they would no longer have to publicly report what the Commissioner and his minions were being paid. According to their 2013 filing (which was the last or next-to-last), Goodell was paid $44 million, while six other League office execs were paid over $1 million and 298 employees were paid at least $100K.

    It’s long past time for Congress to exercise its oversight role. The NFL shouldn’t be paying that kind of money to guys who spend their time the way these emails show they do, at least if Pash is a typical example.

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