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House oversight committee launches investigation into NFL's handling of Washington Football Team's 'hostile workplace culture'

"We hope and trust that the NFL shares the Committee’s goal of protecting American workers from harassment and discrimination.”

WASHINGTON — Officials from the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy have launched an investigation into the National Football League's (NFL) handling of the Washington Football Team's "hostile workplace culture."

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have both reported that from 2011-2018, while he was an ESPN analyst between coaching jobs, Jon Gruden used racist, misogynistic and homophobic language directed at union chief DeMaurice Smith, Commissioner Roger Goodell and others around the NFL in written exchanges with former Washington executive Bruce Allen.

The emails were gathered as part of an investigation of the Washington Football Team after former employees made allegations about sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

RELATED: Washington Football Team's coaches react to released emails; trying to keep team's focus off outside distractions

Of the 40 former employees that were part of the investigation, 10 signed a petition sent to six of the NFL's top sponsors to demand transparency into the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson following allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

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, sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Thursday requesting documents and information into WFT and the NFL's handling of the reported misconduct. 

RELATED: Report: Raiders, Jon Gruden to work on settlement for remaining $40 million of contract

“The NFL has one of the most prominent platforms in America, and its decisions can have national implications,” the Chairs wrote. “The NFL’s lack of transparency about the problems it recently uncovered raises questions about the seriousness with which it has addressed bigotry, racism, sexism, and homophobia — setting a troubling precedent for other workplaces. The Committee is seeking to fully understand this workplace conduct and the league’s response, which will help inform legislative efforts to address toxic work environments and workplace investigation processes; strengthen protections for women in the workplace; and address the use of nondisclosure agreements to prevent the disclosure of unlawful employment practices, including sexual harassment. We hope and trust that the NFL shares the Committee’s goal of protecting American workers from harassment and discrimination.”

The Chairs have asked the documents and information related to the investigation be sent to them by Nov. 4. 

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