Attorneys representing 40 former Washington Football Team employees, who say they were sexually harassed during their time employed by the team, are again insisting that the findings of an investigation into the team be made public.
Attorney Lisa Banks said in a Tweet that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments at a news conference following an owners’ meeting Tuesday were “disingenuous” after stating that the league will not issue a report on its 10-month investigation into Washington’s workplace culture due to privacy concerns.
In a new release, Banks said her clients spoke out against the team in 2020, wanting the report to be public, and it’s possible to ensure confidentiality and release the report.
Banks and attorney Debra Katz have sent Goodell a letter responding to his comments, accusing the commissioner of hiding behind the “incredibly brave women” who came forward. The letter also says that their clients do not “wish any further protection from you by withholding this report.”
“You have misrepresented the wishes of our clients, and likely those of the other women and men who came forward, to justify your decision to bury what we know would be a damning report, having sat through dozens of interviews,” the letter said.
See our letter today to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Contrary to his disingenuous comments yesterday, there is no reason he can’t release an investigatory report and, at the same time, protect anonymity for those who want it. It happens all the time. pic.twitter.com/DYsFdV976T
— Lisa Banks (@LisaBanksKMB) October 27, 2021
The letter comes after 12 other former team employees co-signed a letter that was hand-delivered at the NFL’s owners’ meeting. The letter is also calling for the finding of the league’s investigation into Washington’s work culture to be publicly released. A congressional oversight committee has also called for the league to hand over records regarding the investigation.
On Tuesday, Goodell said the league wanted to protect the roughly 150 former employees who spoke to outside counsel Beth Wilkinson, who conducted the NFL investigation and amassed 6 million pages of evidence.
The commissioner added that the league released a summary of its investigation, fined the team $10 million, and owner Daniel Snyder relinquished day-to-day operations of the franchise in July.
“I do think he has been held accountable and the organization has been held accountable,” Goodell said.
The former employees are not the only ones calling for the NFL to release its findings. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis told reporters Wednesday that he would like a written report to be released.
“Probably, yeah, I think that there should be,” Davis said of whether the NFL should make its findings public. “Especially with some of the things that were charged. Yeah, I believe so. I think people deserve it, especially the people that were quote victims.”
Former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigned after a series of emails he exchanged with former Washington team President Bruce Allen were leaked. The communication, which occurred while Gruden worked as an analyst for ESPN, contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments. The emails were collected as part of the NFL’s investigation into Washington.
The Associated Press and NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.