NFL declines to release 650,000 emails that fall beyond scope of WFT investigation

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The NFL has pinned its refusal to produce any specific information about the Washington Football Team investigation on the notion that an unknown number of current or former employees have requested not just anonymity as to their involvement but full, sweeping secrecy as to the entirety of the probe.

Beyond the fact that this approach makes no sense, given the ability to easily change or redact names (more on that later today), the NFL has admitted that the 650,000 emails from which the Jon Gruden emails were harvested fall outside the scope of the investigation. Thus, the supposed concern for those who wanted anonymity and instead got full secrecy doesn’t apply to the 650,000 emails, since the emails aren’t part of the investigation.

We asked the NFL whether this would allow those emails to be released. Here’s what a league spokesman said  Wednesday, via email: “Some of emails in the collection you are asking about are customary business emails, some of which involve confidential club and League business matters and are therefore not appropriate to release. Others concern personal information that is of no relevance to the league and its interests.”

There’s also a chance that some of these emails contain language that compels the same kind of consequences that Gruden received, or the same type of scrutiny that NFL general counsel Jeff Pash experienced based on his chummy messages with former WFT president Bruce Allen.

Surely, someone within the league structure has culled from the 650,000 emails a subset of potentially problematic emails. Let’s see all of them. If there is confidential or personal information in there, redact it. But let’s see what’s there.

Of course, even if the league were to do that, there’s no way to ensure that we’d be getting everything. That’s why all of the emails need to be made available for independent, thorough review.

The harder the league fights to conceal the information, the stronger the sense the league is hiding something big. If, alternatively, the league simply dumped the documents and moved on, most would shrug and do the same. Digging in makes more and more people think there’s good reason for the league to do it, and thus even better reason to keep pushing for full transparency.

16 responses to “NFL declines to release 650,000 emails that fall beyond scope of WFT investigation

  1. I could care less what any of these people emailed each other, and we had no business knowing…..until they torpedoed Chucky. Goodell wanted vengeance and he got it, but now he looks super shady and I hope you guys keep the pressure on.

  2. If congress wants the emails then they should threaten the league’s anti trust exemption.

    But be careful what you wish for because the inner workings of the nfl being revealed could destroy the league.

    The public perception of storied franchises and revered names might change drastically if the dirty laundry comes out.

  3. Release all private emails of everyone in the country its the only way…also all private texts and pictures

  4. the nfl may give into the pressure and release something but id put up a months salary that they will never ever release anything that that will come back to bite them. all that stuff is being destroyed permanantly as we speak. these dudes arent billionaires from being moral and ethical models of society.

  5. If these e-mails were not part of the WFT investigation, why does the NFL even have them? Was there another investigation of only Bruce Allen?

  6. For those who want full disclosure, how would you feel about putting all of your email in the public domain for all to pick and choose what they wish to be offended by? Not me…. This whole deal strikes me as being more about the media making money off the real or imagined scandals.

  7. They released the Gruden email which has nothing to do with the Washington team, but won’t release the other $665,000?

  8. Definitely interesting to contrast the approaches between the NFL here and the NHL with the Blackhawks scandal this week. The NFL could definitely learn a few things from the NHL.

  9. The NFL is a private organization. They are a Football League. Let me say that again, they are a Football League. They play games that people watch for entertainment… Why do they need to release ANY of their emails to the public? Since when is it our “right” to see all their emails? Do I have any right to see ALL of the emails YOU sent over the past 10 years? Of course not. You have no right to see theirs. They are not elected public officials, I’m not sure why the clickbaiters are trying to spin this narrative that the NFL “needs” to turn over emails to them, so they can, of course, report on WHATEVER priivate business, related or unrelated to this investigation, that they want. Honestly, I care more about the Media demanding to see private emails that a private company is NOT obligated under any legal reason to turn over so they can exploit it, then I do or really care what’s actually in those emails.

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