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Investigation of Washington Football Team didn’t include text messages

Jon Gruden's leaked emails go beyond one specific person at one specific time and amplify the league's need for a stronger emphasis on diversity.

While investigating the Washington Football Team’s workplace issues, attorney Beth Wilkinson stumbled over enough to get her to gather more than 650,000 emails that, per the league, were sent by or to former team president Bruce Allen and that fell beyond the scope of the investigation.

For some reason (still not disclosed by the league), Wilkinson did not examine emails sent by or to other current or former team employees. For some reason (still not disclosed by the league), the investigation did not extend to text messages. The NFL informed PFT on Tuesday, in response to an email inquiry from PFT, that the investigation did not include text messages.

You know, text messages. The format where people tend to be WAY more relaxed and revealing than they are when typing emails. The format that the NFL aggressively harvested when trying to jam the square peg of prevailing atmospheric conditions into the round hole of evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs used by the Patriots in the 2014 AFC Championship.

The more we learn, the less sense any of this makes. How did Bruce Allen send or receive, on average, 178 emails per day every day for a decade? How did the emails sent to Allen by Jon Gruden and Jeff Pash leak? Why won’t the NFL, which has hidden information about the WFT investigation by citing confidentiality concerns as to employees who came forward, release 650,000 emails that by the league’s admission fall beyond the scope of the investigation?

They’re hiding something. They’re hiding a lot. They’re hoping that the passage of time and the playing of more games will cause the issue to die down.

It most definitely should not. But we can only do so much. Others with investigative resources need to be chasing answers to the unanswered questions. Others with standing to sue need to be exploring all legal options for compelling the materials to be produced. Others with license to hold hearings on the inner workings of a sports league that relies heavily on the attention, funding, and confidence of the public need to demand transparency.

I’ve been encourage by multiple people with multiple teams and, frankly, within the league office to keep pushing this issue. To not let the story go away. To continue to press for the truth to come out.

There’s plenty of truth that is currently being hidden behind the curtain. They want us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. That’s all the more reason to be zealous and vigilant about peeling it back and getting a look at what’s really going on.