Roger Goodell’s testimony included Daniel Snyder, Deflategate:

Congress announced Wednesday it will subpoena Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, but that was not the only buzzy moment from the House committee hearing investigating Synder and his team.

While Snyder himself declined an invitation to appear before Congress, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did testify, albeit virtually. Committee members asked Goodell a wide range of questions during the hearing, oscillating from issues related to and unrelated to the investigation into the Commanders.

In: his opening statement:Goodell acknowledged that “the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in numerous respects …” and had a “woefully deficient HR function, particularly with respect to reporting practices and recordkeeping.”

Goodell won’t remove Snyder as owner:

When asked by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) if Goodell would remove Snyder as the owner of Commanders, the NFL commissioner said: “I do not have the authority to remove him.”

This is true, but Goodell does have the power to refer any matter relating to an owner who “has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football” to the league’s Executive Committee who in turn could vote on the removal of an owner, per the NFL’s constitution and bylaws.

More questions about the NFL’s investigation:

The committee hammered Goodell with questions related to the league’s internal investigation as well as the reporting of 2009 sexual harassment allegations against Snyder.

Goodell repeatedly claimed the league did not publish a full report because of concerns over the confidentiality of names, but Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked why the league did publish a 2014 report on workplace harassment within the Miami Dolphins as well as a 243-page report on the Deflategate scandal within the New England Patriots in 2015.

Goodell’s response: “Congressman, with all due respect, redaction does not always work in my world.”

(This is perhaps a reference to the committee’s determination that Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” into his accusers that sought to discredit their allegations against him in the team).

The commissioner also said he did not recall the league being informed in 2009 of allegations of sexual assault against Snyder but that he did know about the allegations by July 2020 – a month before the league took over the investigation into the Commanders. Snyder reportedly paid his accusers $ 1.6 million to settle those claims.

Why did Goodell testify?

One of the more interesting questions unrelated to the Commanders investigation was posed by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). He asked Goodell if he only agreed to testify because of the NFL’s exemption from antitrust laws gives the league special privileges with television networks. The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 allowed the NFL to sell packages to networks that the league shares equally among its teams.

“You: [appeared today] “Because you understand Congress has granted the NFL an exemption from antitrust laws which enables NFL teams to collaborate on TV contracts, and the NFL does not want Congress to tamper with that antitrust exemption, am I correct?” Johnson asked.

Goodell denied that assertion by Johnson.

Unrelated inquires:

The hearing became heated at different times during the questioning period when members of the committee raised concerns about the use of government time. Some members mentioned other areas of concern in the country which they believed to be more important than the current topic of discussion.

Others asked football-related questions that had nothing to do with the Commanders investigation.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked Goodell about two seemingly random topics – Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. Jordan.

Under the guise of a First Amendment rights issue, Jordan asked Goodell why Portnoy is banned from NFL games. Goodell said he was “not familiar with that issue.” Jordan followed up by asking if Goodell agreed with Commanders head coach Ron Rivera’s decision to fine Del Rio $ 100,000 for Del Rio’s statements about the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. Goodell responded that he did not believe he should be in a position to agree or disagree with Rivera’s decision.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-MA) recounted the DeflateGate scandal that led to a four-game suspension of then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and asked Goodell: how the league can guarantee the consistency of the PSI levels in footballs.

Goodell simply answered that the officials check the footballs before the game.

Other members of the committee asked Goodell about his views on racism in America and in the NFL.

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), who played 10 years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the then-Oakland Raiders in 1980, asked Goodell about the league’s “race norming” standard which helped deny claims for Black athletes. The league disavowed in 2021 and led to a $ 1 billion settlement last October.

Goodell stated the standards weren’t required by doctors and that the NFL adopted new standards,

In perhaps the weirdest line of football-adjacent questioning, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) asked Goodell if he would “use his mouthpiece” to push the dispel the “myth of systemic racism in policing.” This came after Grothman condemned Goodell for embracing “left, woke anti-American propaganda.”

Goodell responded by saying he would not “apologize for fighting racism.”

Response from attorneys for ex-Commanders employees and Jon Gruden:

Following Goodell’s testimony, the attorneys for more than 40 former Washington Commanders employees issued a statement, via Washington Post reporter Nicki Jhabvala::

“Today it was stunning and disheartening to listen to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insist that Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders have been held fully accountable for the two-decades long sexual harassment of female employees,” attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz said in the statement. “This, of course, is not true. Today the Committee released a damning report demonstrating that Snyder and his lawyers also surveyed and investigated complainants, their lawyers, witnesses and journalists, which Goodell knew about and did nothing to address.

“In his inexplicable and apparently unending desire to protect Dan Snyder, Goodell continues his refusal to release the findings by Beth Wilkinson citing reasons that do not withstand even minimal scrutiny. Confidentiality can be protected in a written report by redacting the names of witnesses, which is common practice, including by the NFL.

“The NFL issued a written report and protected promised confidentiality in 2014 when it investigated sexual harassment in the Miami Dolphins organization. And most recently, the NFL has directed Mary Jo White to interview numerous witnesses, promise them confidentiality, and produce a written report that It was made clear at today’s hearing that the NFL could have done the same with the Wilkinson investigation, except for the continued reluctance of Mr. Goodell to expose the full extent of the wrongdoing by Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders.

“To be clear, our clients want and deserve a full accounting of Beth Wilkinson’s findings. Until he agrees to release such findings, Mr. Goodell’s purported concern for the employees who suffered through 20 years of harassment and abuse is a sham.”

In a separate statement, the attorneys for former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden released a statement condemning Goodell and the NFL. Gruden is suing the league over leaked racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails between Gruden and former Washington executive Bruce Allen which led to Gruden’s decision to step down as the Raiders coach in 2021.

“It was apparent from Commissioner Goodell’s testimony today that the NFL is still resisting actual accountability and is only willing to be selectively transparent. In the Jon Gruden lawsuit, the Nevada court comprehensively rejected the NFL and Commissioner Goodell’s attempt to compel arbitration and conceal their conduct from the public, “the attorneys said in the statement. “If they do appeal, we welcome the opportunity for the Nevada Supreme Court to issue a published opinion confirming the rulings and invalidating the NFL Constitution and the unfair arbitration provisions that the NFL has hidden behind for so long.

“Jon Gruden’s fight matters to many more people than just himself and real accountability will not exist until the NFL’s misconduct stops being addressed behind closed doors.”

Roger Goodell tested before Congress Wednesday for a hearing into the Washington Commanders.  (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Roger Goodell tested before Congress Wednesday for a hearing into the Washington Commanders. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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