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NFL and the Media Are as Culpable as Gruden

Crazy times we live in, right? So much of what has been happening around us has been confusing as we attempt to sort out truth from reality. Much of what media produces as "truth", is contradicted by simple logic. Before I get too far in this post, let me state unequivocally that viewpoints expressed in Gruden’s emails are gross and indefensible. The purpose of this article however is not to further elaborate on the content of Gruden’s emails, but rather to look at the larger picture.

For those that have not been following, Gruden's emails surfaced in relation to a legal action outside of the WFT investigation that had been underway for over a year due to alleged workplace culture within the organization that ended this summer. The investigation focused on examining years of sexual harassment claims and other misdeeds inside the WFT workplace. The end result of the investigation was a 10 million dollar fine and ceding day-today operations to Dan Snyder’s wife as co-CEO for a few months. To a guy like me, 10 million is a large chunk of change, but understand in context that Daniel Snyder’s net worth = 2.3 billion per https://moneyinc.com/the-15-richest-nfl-owners-in-the-world/

In addition to the NFL investigation, WFT Owner and Snyder Communications founder, Daniel Snyder had opened a separate defamation suit against a website in India, due to allegations the site made that Snyder was the subject of Sex-trafficking allegations with connections to Epstein. Snyder in his suit, was seeking information from Bruce Allen, to expose the site. Gruden's emails were public because of a court filing that Snyder made at a federal court in Arizona as a part of discovery. There is a good write-up on this in greater detail at https://dannyoneil.substack.com/p/why-jon-grudens-emails-become-public

For what it’s worth, I’m not sure I arrive at the same conclusions of the author in the article above as he concludes that A: the NFL was attempting to get ahead of what was already public by pointing out Gruden's emails to the media so as not to be "on the hook" or B: to essentially target Gruden and the Raiders. I lean towards C: Distracting attention from the NFL and one of its owners.

As Gruden's emails were released via the news, it’s easy to notice the media focus away from the "topless Cheerleader" pictures. These pictures are literally proof of the environment within the WFT organization and they add substance to the over "40 former WFT employees" suit https://www.audacy.com/thefandc/sports/washington-football-team/nfl-refuses-to-talk-about-beth-wilkinson-investigation-into-wft-dan-snyder and resulting NFL investigation.

In observing the news cycle and media response to this whole episode, it becomes clear that Gruden and the Raiders are a convenient method for the NFL to move focus from the WFT investigation and results. Snyder and WFT get away with what equates to paying a parking ticket fine for someone with his wealth. Additionally, the emails released are indicative of a culture that is prevalent within at least the NFL. The content in Gruden’s emails show how the "old boy club" in the NFL accepts this behavior behind the scenes ( for multiple years). Otherwise, we would have seen responses to these emails showing a vitriolic repulsion to such content,... not after the emails go public. By pointing the spotlight on Gruden and not releasing the over 650k emails that would show how pervasive this toxic culture is within the WFT, the NFL is demonstrating that it has no motives to end the behavior, but rather to protect their billionaire owners. The spin from the NFL about not tolerating such behavior is bullshit and shows publicly for all who care to look; there is a difference between those that write the checks and those that cash them.

In my view point, this whole sad episode is a microcosm of what is destroying us as a nation. Six media companies (National Amusements, Disney, Time Warner, Comcast, News Corp, and Sony) and 3 social media companies (Facebook, Google, and Twitter) own almost all of the media and public discourse we consume. These global corporations own what we think by controlling "narratives" (and just as important what is not reported) and keeping us distracted and divided to control us while they expand their wealth and power. We fight each other instead of holding them accountable. By focusing on Gruden’s emails and content, the pot gets stirred while the media lets Snyder off the hook and allows the NFL to hide behind "the shield" and perpetuate misconduct. 650,000 emails in evidence are ignored, The Raiders and their fans pay the penalty, Gruden’s emails go public and Synder’s remain private as the media and NFL bury the WFT investigation resulting punishing John Gruden (who insulted Roger Goodell) and Bruce Allen (who crossed Dan Snyder) as the only bad guys in the media narrative. Raider Nation picks up the tab, so consider this my two cents to the bill we all pay for.