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Leaked emails show cozy relationship between top NFL attorney and Washington Football Team GM


The same cache of 650,000 emails that led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden also included communications between NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and then-Washington Football Team general manager Bruce Allen in which the league attorney assured the club executive that a $15,000 fine would be rescinded.

The emails were included as part of the NFL’s investigation into hostile workplace and sexual harassment allegations against the Washington Football Team (WFT) — a probe that ended in July, resulting in a $10 million fine for the club and owner Dan Snyder ceding day-to-day control of the franchise to his wife, Tanya.

On Thursday night, both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that Allen, who was fired in 2019, casually discussed several controversial topics with Pash over email, including the Patriots Deflategate scandal, league officiating, and the team’s former name, the Redskins, which has since been scrapped under pressure from Native American groups and sponsors who found it offensive. 

The emails between Pash and Allen were exchanged between 2009 and 2018 and reveal a surprisingly close, convivial relationship between the two. 

Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders on Monday after emails he sent to Allen between 2011 and 2018 surfaced in the Times and Journal showing him using racist, misogynistic and homophobic language to criticize league figures.

The same cache of 650,000 emails that led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden also included communications between NFL general counsel Jeff Pash (pictured) and then-Washington Football Team general manager Bruce Allen in which the league attorney assured the club executive that a $15,000 fine would be rescinded

The same cache of 650,000 emails that led to the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden also included communications between NFL general counsel Jeff Pash (pictured) and then-Washington Football Team general manager Bruce Allen in which the league attorney assured the club executive that a $15,000 fine would be rescinded

On Thursday night, both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that Bruce Allen (pictured), who was fired in 2019, casually discussed several controversial topics with Pash over email, including the Patriots Deflategate scandal, league officiating, and the team's former name, the Redskins, which has since been scrapped under pressure from Native American groups and sponsors who found it offensive

On Thursday night, both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported that Bruce Allen (pictured), who was fired in 2019, casually discussed several controversial topics with Pash over email, including the Patriots Deflategate scandal, league officiating, and the team’s former name, the Redskins, which has since been scrapped under pressure from Native American groups and sponsors who found it offensive

Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders on Monday after emails he sent to Allen between 2011 and 2018 surfaced in the Times and Journal showing him using racist, misogynistic and homophobic language to criticize league figures

Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders on Monday after emails he sent to Allen between 2011 and 2018 surfaced in the Times and Journal showing him using racist, misogynistic and homophobic language to criticize league figures

According to the Times, Pash rushed to the defense of the WFT in 2013 after the club was fined $15,000 when then-coach Mike Shanahan allegedly doctored an injury report.

Allen called the claim ‘BS’ and Pash overruled the league fine, telling Washington’s GM that the club wouldn’t need to pay the $15,000 ‘or any other amount with respect to this matter and you should consider the fine to be rescinded in its entirety.’

And when hostile workplace and sexual harassment allegations were made by WFT cheerleader against the team in 2018, Pash offered comforting words to Allen.

‘I know that you are on it and would not condone something untoward,’ he wrote Allen in an email, according to The Times.

In response to the Journal’s story, a league spokesman dismissed the reported emails between Allen and Pash as common interaction between NFL officials and team leaders.

‘Communication between league office employees and club executives occurs on a daily basis,’ Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, told the Journal. ‘Jeff Pash is a respected and high-character NFL executive. Any effort to portray these emails as inappropriate is either misleading or patently false.’

In response to the Journal’s story, New York Giants owner John Mara, Chicago Bears’ owner George McCaskey, and Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill all offered statements of support for Pash.

‘I have worked closely with Jeff Pash for many years,’ Mara told the Journal. ‘He is a principled leader who has always served the league with integrity.’

The communications between Pash and Allen also contained casual conversations about politics and other league issues.

Allen, the brother of Republican George Allen, a former Virginia Governor and Senator, complained that the NFL hired a lobbyist in 2016, Jocelyn Moore, who had previously worked with notable Democrats on Capitol Hill.

‘Curious — is there a rule against hiring Libertarians, Independents or even a Republican?’ Allen asked, according to the Times.

‘No,’ Pash replied, ‘but it can sometimes look that way!’

Allen then suggested a ‘Lincoln Rule’ requiring the league to interview conservative candidates — ostensibly a joke about the NFL’s ‘Rooney Rule’ which stipulates that at least one minority mandate be interviewed for coaching and front office positions.

And when Allen sent Pash a song the team was using to attract hispanic fans, Pash made a joking reference to Donald Trump’s proposed border wall: ‘I am not sure this song will be as popular after the wall gets built.’

The two also discussed the controversy over the team’s now-former name, the Redskins.

They both seemed to celebrate when it was revealed that Senator Maria Cantwell (Democrat, Washington), a vocal critic of the name, attended a high school with a Native American mascot.

‘No way,’ Pash responded to Allen, according to the Times. ‘Too good to be true.’

The emails show a close relationship between the two, even as the team and league would occasionally be at odds. In 2011, Allen reserved the Hooters suite at FedEx Field for Pash, who is apparently a fan of the team as well.

‘After all, nobody else has ever given me a Hooters VIP card,’ Pash wrote in one email to Allen.

Pash also donated to Allen’s brother senatorial campaign.

The two also bonded over their apparent mutual dislike for DeMaurice Smith, the NFL players’ union executive director who Gruden described using a racist trope in one 2011 email to Allen that led to the Raiders coach’s resignation on Monday night.

In 2010, Allen boasted that he denied Smith a field pass to WFT game, which angered the union chief.

‘New sheriff in town,’ Pash wrote — a reference to Allen, who was in his first year with the team at the time.

Pash once described Allen’s efforts to reduce a player’s salary as ‘The Lord’s work,’ according to the Times.

The Times noted that one specific email typified the Pash-Allen relationship.

In 2011, during the first day of a labor dispute that led to a work stoppage that March, Pash told Allen that he was a ‘special guy.’

‘Even when our employers were, shall we say, at odds, you treated me with kindness and courtesy,’ Pash wrote. ‘I have never forgotten that. Over the years you have been a frequent source of excellent advice.’



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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