The NFL took several weeks to acknowledge a request from former employees of the Washington football team for more information on the league’s investigation, and still has not agreed to a meeting.
Lisa Banks, who represents nearly 40 former employees of the team, said she received a response on Wednesday from Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for the investigations. Banks said she first emailed Friel in late September and then again earlier this week.
“She emailed me saying, ‘Sorry, I’ll contact you,’” Banks said. “But without any substance or timing.”
The NFL did not respond to requests for comment from USA TODAY Sports.
The women want to meet with Friel and / or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to get more details on the league’s investigation into the toxic and misogynistic atmosphere of the Washington football team. Banks said the NFL has been reactive in the past, and she hopes a meeting will be scheduled.
Unlike other high-profile NFL investigations, there is no written report on the findings of independent investigator Beth Wilkinson. Instead, Friel said in July that Wilkinson handed over a series of oral reports to the NFL. Friel also said the individual allegations were not part of Wilkinson’s findings due to privacy concerns for those involved.
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But Banks said the women never asked for this and wanted an explanation of why this decision was made.
“They all participated in this investigation in good faith, and it was difficult for them to do so,” Banks said. “They expected that at the end of the day they would (learn) what the findings of the investigation were and what are you going to do about it so that they would know that it would make sense. They have nothing.
“They never asked for a report, they never asked for help or protection, so that was kind of spurious,” Banks added. “They want to know why there was no written report, and what were the conclusions?
The NFL is pressed again this week to provide more information on Wilkinson’s findings after emails were posted showing former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden using racist, homophobic, misogynistic and vulgar language. The emails, reported by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, were between Gruden and Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington football team.
The emails were among the 650,000 discovered by Wilkinson and his team, but they were found to be outside the scope of the malpractice investigation. According to the Times, however, Gruden and Allen exchanged photos of partially nude women, including one of two Washington cheerleaders.