New Email Leaks Paint Unflattering Picture of Top NFL Lawyer | Athletic Business

New Email Leaks Paint Unflattering Picture of Top NFL Lawyer

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At this point, anyone with a past email relationship with former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen might be nervously wondering what they actually put in writing. 

According to Yahoo! Sports, citing a Thursday report in The New York Times, a new round of email leaks shows a personal relationship between NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and Allen that included jokes about the league's diversity efforts and the brokering of a league fine. The report revealed emails exchanged between the two from 2009-2018 amid a multitude of team scandals and prior to a league investigation into workplace misconduct in Washington. Pash later oversaw Beth Wilkinson, the attorney who was hired to investigate sexual harassment claims against the franchise, per the Times.

The emails cited in Thursday's report were gleaned from a trove of 650,000 emails that were part of the league's investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team.

These latest revelations conclude a week that started with Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden resigning over racist, homophobic and misogynistic exchanges with Allen between 2011 and 2018, when Gruden served as an ESPN Monday Night Football analyst.

Related: Jon Gruden Resigns as Raiders Coach After Bigoted Emails Surface

The exchanges between Pash and Allen include a discussion that preceded the revocation of a league fine against the WFT. In 2013, the NFL fined the franchise $15,000 when then-coach Mike Shanahan was found to have doctored an injury report in violation of league policy. 

When the league denied Allen's appeal of the fine, the then-president responded in an email that included Pash and other league officials: “BS." Pash wrote back to Allen that the team needn't pay the $15,000 “or any other amount with respect to this matter and you should consider the fine to be rescinded in its entirety" as he overruled his staff to rescind the fine, per the Times report.

In another exchange where Allen wrote that he was concerned that commissioner Roger Goodell would accuse him of breaking rules regarding free-agent signings, Pash responded: “He knows who it is and that it is not you,” per the report. 

The Times also reported that the two traded jokes about the NFL's diversity efforts and team's efforts to attract Latino fans. “I am not sure this song will be as popular after the wall gets built," Pash wrote to Allen after Allen emailed him a song meant to appeal to Latino fans. 

Pash also appeared to align with Allen's fight against changing the team's former nickname — a racial slur for Native Americans. Allen sent him an article about U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell's former high school that also had a mascot using Native American imagery. Cantwell was a vocal critic of the Washington nickname. Pash responded to the article: “No way. Too good to be true,” per the report. 

In another exchange, Allen complained to Pash about the 2016 NFL hiring of Jocelyn Moore, who is Black and a Democrat, as the league’s chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

“Curious — is there a rule against hiring Libertarians, Independents or even a Republican?” Allen wrote to Pash.

Pash responded: "No, but it can sometimes look that way!”

Allen replied: “We have the Rooney rule …. So I’m going to propose a Lincoln Rule at the next meeting.”

The Times noted that Pash donated $1,000 to Allen's brother George Allen's U.S. Senate campaign in 2012. 

Yahoo! Sports, citing the Times, goes on to share that when the team was embroiled in a 2018 scandal involving sexual harassment and a photoshoot involving topless cheerleaders, Posh wrote to Allen: “I know that you are on it and would not condone something untoward,” the Times reports.

Related: Former Employees: Money Offered for Silence on WFT Culture

Allen was found to have shared a topless photo of Washington cheerleaders in a previous email leak that led to Gruden's Monday resignation.

When Allen expressed concern to Pash over a penalty for Washington breaking the league's roster spending limit, Pash provided assurances to Allen.

“Still talking internally about this,” Pash wrote. “I am not making any promises as to an outcome. But I can assure you that I am not blowing you off.”

“We may not see this the same way," he wrote in a followup email. "But that does not change my respect or affection for you. After all, nobody else has ever given me a Hooters VIP card.”

In a statement to the Times, NFL executive vice president of communications Jeff Miller defended Pash. “Communication between league office employees and club executives occurs on a daily basis," Miller wrote. "Jeff Pash is a respected and high-character NFL executive. Any effort to portray these emails as inappropriate is either misleading or patently false.”

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