On Thursday, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office has filed a civil lawsuit against the Commanders, owner Daniel Snyder, the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell over the alleged concealment and coverup of the Beth Wilkinson investigation. The Commanders have issued a statement in response because, well, they pretty much issue a statement in response to everything that is said or done in reference to the team.
“Over two years ago, Dan and Tanya Snyder acknowledged that an unacceptable workplace culture had existed within their organization for several years and they have apologized many times for allowing that to happen,” John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, Counsel for the Washington Commanders, said. “We agree with A.G. Racine on one thing: the public needs to know the truth. Although the lawsuit repeats a lot of innuendo, half-truths and lies, we welcome this opportunity to defend the organization — for the first time — in a court of law and to establish, once and for all, what is fact and what is fiction.”
That’s great, if they mean it. If they mean it, it means they won’t file a motion to dismiss for lack of standing or failure to state a claim or any other legal argument aimed at avoiding the merits of the allegations. While the comment hardly operates as a binding waiver of technical defenses aimed at skirting the substantive allegations made in the lawsuit, the media, the fans, and anyone else paying attention to the situation should be prepared to respond, loudly and negatively, if the team’s or the league’s eventual legal strategy consists of hatching and advancing arguments based on the notion that Racine’s lawsuit contains flaws that point to a victory for the defendants before the official process of getting to the truth commences.
The public needs to know the truth. Amen to that. If the NFL had simply requested a report from Beth Wilkinson and committed to making it public in the first place, Racine wouldn’t have filed his lawsuit.