The NFL took several weeks to acknowledge a request from former female 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 team employees, said she received a response Wednesday from Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for investigations. Banks claimed she first sent Friel an email at the beginning of September and another time earlier in this week.
“She sent me an email saying, ‘Sorry, I’ll be in touch,’ ” Banks said. “But without any substance or timing.”
USA TODAY Sports reached out to the NFL for clarification but they did not reply.
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, misogynistic atmosphere at the Washington Football Team. Banks indicated that she is hopeful of a meeting with the NFL, as they have been responsive in the past.
Unlike in other high-profile NFL investigations, there is no written report of independent investigator Beth Wilkinson’s findings. Friel claimed in July, instead that Wilkinson had given a series oral reports to NFL. Friel also said individual allegations weren’t part of Wilkinson’s findings because of privacy concerns for those involved.
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Banks claimed that the women did not ask for it and wanted to explain why.
“They all participated in this investigation in good faith, and it was hard for them to do it,” Banks said. “They expected at the end they’d (learn) what were the findings of the investigation and what are you going to do about it so they’d know it would have some meaning. They didn’t get anything.
“They never asked for no report, they never asked for help or protection, so that was somewhat disingenuous,” Banks added. “They want to know why there was no written report, and what were the findings?”
The NFL is being pressed again this week to provide more information on Wilkinson’s findings after a release of emails showing former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden using racist, homophobic, misogynistic and vulgar language. New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that the emails were exchanged between Gruden, Bruce Allen and Gruden, former President of Washington Football Team.
The emails were among 650,000 discovered by Wilkinson and her team, but they were deemed outside the investigation’s scope of workplace misconduct. However, Gruden, Allen, and one of the two Washington cheerleaders were photographed in a photo exchange, according to The Times.