The NFL may not be releasing the 650,000 or so emails that were part of the investigation into the Washington Football Team’s toxic workplace environment. But, leaks are falling through the cracks.
Monday the drama blew over for Jon Gruden, as a number of disparaging emails from 2011-2018 to then-Washington Football Team general manager and team president Bruce Allen were revealed. Gruden resigned as a result Monday evening as the Las Vegas Raiders head coach.
At the time of the emails Gruden was an analyst for ESPN, working their Monday Night Football broadcast. Late Tuesday evening it was revealed another ESPN personality has been roped into the Washington investigation.
According to Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno of The Los Angeles Times, NFL insider Adam Schefter established an informal relationship with Allen. That included him sending an entire story in July 2011 to Allen, calling him “Mr. Editor” in an email submitted by attorneys of Washington owner Dan Snyder in a defamation suit against a publication in India.
Several emails between Allen and journalists are part of the filing too. In one of them from July 2011, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter sent Allen the draft of an unpublished story that was published later the same day.
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….”
It’s been long rumored that Allen was a favorite source for inside stories involving Washington during his tenure there. Now there is evidence. More importantly it appears Schefter has been compromised. At least that’s the way many have already taken it.
ESPN did release a statement in response to the LA Times report.
ESPN released the following statement in response to the correspondence: “Without sharing all the specifics of the reporter’s process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL lockout, we believe that nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than providing fans the most accurate, fair and complete story.”
It appears ESPN is standing by Schefter, at least publicly. Meanwhile, Gruden’s career appears to be over after his racial, homophobic and misogynistic comments in emails to Allen.
Allen being employed by Washington has dragged in two people, who were never employed by the franchise in question. Yet, the NFL has not revealed any findings from the Beth Wilkinson investigation into the Washington Football Team despite requests from former employees and the NFLPA.