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Congress seeks information from NFL on WFT investigation

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may have to answer to Congress about an investigation of the workplace culture of the Washington Football Team.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may have to answer to Congress about an investigation of the workplace culture of the Washington Football Team.Sean M. Haffey/Getty

A Congressional committee is seeking documents and information from the NFL regarding the investigation into the Washington Football Team and how the league handled it.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform said Thursday it sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting by Nov. 4 all documents and communication about the probe into the workplace culture at the Washington Football Team.

“We have serious concerns about what appears to be widespread abusive workplace conduct at the WFT and about the NFL’s handling of this matter,” US Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, wrote in the letter to the commissioner.


“Communications between league management and WFT leadership also raise questions about the league’s asserted impartiality in these investigations.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league has received the letter and shares the committee’s “concern that all workplaces should be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. We look forward to speaking to her office soon.”

The Washington Football Team hired lawyer Beth Wilkinson in the summer of 2020 to look into allegations of sexual harassment and other improper conduct within the organization. The league later took over that investigation and fined the team $10 million in July and said the culture at the club was “toxic” and ownership and senior officials paid little attention to sexual harassment and other workplace issues.

Owner Dan Snyder has stepped away from day-to-day operations, but there was no written report on Wilkinson’s inquiry.

What does the future hold for Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team?
What does the future hold for Dan Snyder and the Washington Football Team?Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Earlier this month, emails gathered in relation to that investigation revealed racist, homophobic and misogynistic language from former Raiders coach Jon Gruden to Washington team President Bruce Allen when Gruden was an announcer at ESPN.

Gruden resigned as coach of the Raiders on Oct. 11 and lawyers representing 40 former employees of the Washington Football Team urged the league to immediately release the full findings of the investigation.


Mayfield headed for surgery

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to require surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder, but the belief is that he can deal with the injury through the season, NFL.com reported. However, incurring more damage could make that plan challenging. Mayfield suffered the torn labrum in Week 2 and re-injured the non-throwing shoulder in Sunday’s loss to Arizona after taking a hit. He missed his first start of his career Thursday against the Broncos because of the injury.

Maye talks about arrest

Safety Marcus Maye knew where to go once the news of his DUI arrest from February became public. He went straight to the coach’s office, seeking out Robert Saleh to explain what happened and why he kept it from the New York Jets for more than seven months. “It’s just an adult thing to do,” Maye said while speaking to reporters for the first time since his arrest was reported on Oct. 4. “Just own up (to) my situation, tell him about it and talk about it and we handled it and we kept going.” Broward County court records show the 28-year-old Maye was charged with three misdemeanors — driving under the influence, DUI/damage to property, and leaving the scene of an accident — after a car crash on Feb. 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’s also facing a civil lawsuit “in excess” of $30,000 filed by the driver of the car he hit, according to court documents. Maye said he wasn’t allowed to comment on his legal situation, but was remorseful.


Packers sign Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus is headed for Green Bay.
Whitney Mercilus is headed for Green Bay.JUSTIN REX/Associated Press

With the Green Bay Packers having won five consecutive games despite several key injuries, they signed veteran outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus in hopes of boosting not only their pass rush but their championship hopes. Enter the 31-year-old Mercilus, a first-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2012 who was released by the team on Tuesday. Mercilus has 57 sacks in nine-plus season. That includes three this season but only one season of eight-plus sacks in his career. That was 2015, when he had 12 … Wide receiver/return specialist Andre Roberts signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after being released earlier this week by the Houston Texans. Roberts is in his 11th season and is one of the league’s top kick and punt returns, something the Chargers have been lacking.