Following the first day of NFL owners meetings, commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to media about the Washington Football Team investigation. He said the league would not release the report because some of the accusers wanted to remain anonymous.
“We’re very conscious of making sure that we’re protecting those that came forward,” Goodell said, via The Washington Post. “They were incredibly brave, incredibly open and we respect the pain that they probably went through all over again to come forward.”
Despite a push by former employees to release the report, Goodell continued to say the league has no plans of making the report public. Not yet, at least.
MORE: What Congress wants from NFL regarding WFT, Jon Gruden investigation, explained
“We feel that this is the appropriate way to do it,” Goodell said. “We summarized the findings of (the investigation) and made it very clear that the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team is not what we expect in the NFL. And then held them accountable for that.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will not release the findings of the WFT investigation because some of those who came forward asked for anonymity: pic.twitter.com/cio2n52xzF
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 26, 2021
Interest in what the report’s findings spiked after now-former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s emails — which consisted of homophobic, racist and sexist remarks — were released. The surface of these emails is what caused Gruden to resign.
JON GRUDEN EMAILS: Raiders coach resigns following release of damning messages
Goodell believes the NFL held WFT owner Dan Snyder “accountable” for his involvement in the toxic work environment that former employees described. The WFT organization was fined $10 million, while Snyder has ceased involvement in day-to-day operations with the team. His wife, Tanya, has taken over the CEO role in his absence.
“I do think he’s been held accountable for it. And that the organization has been held accountable,” Goodell said. “I think we’ve given an unprecedented fine. Dan Snyder has not been involved with the organization for now almost four months. And we obviously are focused more on making sure that policies they had — many of which they put in place prior to this investigation, but also coming out of it — were put into place and that they will be maintained.”
Additionally, many of the former employees have come out and said they want the report to be public. If they signed on as anonymous, they want to remain anonymous, though that doesn’t mean the report can’t be released at all. One of those employees, Rachel Engleson, tweeted about her frustrations toward Goodell:
This is false @nflcommish. We were told our identities would be kept confidential in a written report. Meaning, if I spoke about something that happened to me, there would be no way Dan or others could trace the info back to me. Not that there would be no written report. C’mon. https://t.co/gVbqnw8PKl
— Rachel Engleson (@rachel_engleson) October 26, 2021
MORE: Jon Gruden’s emails only ones in WFT probe to warrant NFL action
Two employees even showed up to the NFL owners meeting on Tuesday to hand deliver a letter to the league’s social justice committee, asking them to make the report public.
WFT accusers Melanie Coburn and Ana Nunez are at the owners meeting telling their story, and hand-delivering this letter to owners. They were a part of the investigation. pic.twitter.com/gwn5fORwSB
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 26, 2021
Attorney Lisa Banks, who represents the 40 forner WFT employees who were involved in the investigation, also tweeted that Goodell’s reasoning was false, suggesting her clients wanted the report released as well.
Congress has also gotten involved in the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Thursday sent a letter to Goodell requesting all documents and communication about the review into the team by Thursday, Nov. 4.
Goodell on Tuesday said the league will comply.
“We’ll respond to Congress appropriately,” he said. “So, we’ll be cooperative. We’ve been in touch and we will certainly do that.”