There are two things that Roger Goodell's little Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment loves to do more than anything:
- Make massive, copious, incomprehensible amount of money
- Launch "independent" investigations into its own at the slightest hint of wrongdoing.
The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, 2. is a direct result of the desire for 1. All it takes is a few negative editorials about Richie Incognito possibly being mean to a teammate, the suggestion that the Saints were running a Cash for Concussions operation while the league was trying to sweep CTE under the rug or complaints from the Ravens and Colts that the key to Tom Brady's dominance was squishy footballs, and Der Kommissar is rounding up his crack legal team like Nick Fury calling the Avengers to assemble.
Goodell loves a good investigation. LOVES it. There's an attraction there that is downright erotic. Like he's gets on the phone with whichever attorney he hand picks rubbing his nipples and saying, "Repeat that part about getting all the facts, regardless of where they lead. And talk slower this time. ..." It takes all the focus away from him. Helps him avoid all accountability. Let's him deflect by saying he can't comment in order to let the investigators do their job. And it helps cover up any actual wrongdoing by his own league because all that money isn't being spent to get to the truth. It's to support whatever narrative is most beneficial to Goodell himself. He shoots an arrow and wherever it lands, his "investigation" paints a bullseye around it.
So you might just naturally assume a thorough, well-researched investigation into a widespread pattern of sexual harassment on Dan Snyder's Washington Football Team by the Washington Post (paywall) would be the perfect opportunity for Ginger Satan. When one of your creepshow owners is accused of trying to talk a cheerleader up to his hotel room to hang out with him and another old guy and having his staff put together a video of outtakes from a cheerleader swimsuit calendar shoot that is nothing but a supercut of them showing their lady parts while they adjust their bathing suits between shots, this might be the ideal time for some digging around. When there are 15 women who've come forward on the record to talk about similar treatment, now's as good a time as any for the Commish to pleasure himself to some more of that sweet, sweet Investigation Porn he loves so much. To at least have his league talk to the victims or find out if this tape exists. After all, he took eight months to look into whether a video crew from New England took shots of the back of the Bengals sideline. And the crew in question handed over all their files on the spot.
But not surprisingly, these particular allegations - which if true are an actual violation of federal law and not just 300 lb offensive linemen talking mean to each other or air pressure readings - aren't worth the NFL's time. The league's only official statement so far:
“These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on their findings.”
Yeah, this is wicked serious and we're sup disturbed by this because it's not how we roll. But Dan Snyder's got this. He's got his own crack squad of legal eagles on the case. And you just know they'll leave no stone unturned. Even if it incriminates Danny. He's a man of integrity and we're sure he'll fall on his sword if they prove guilt. Honest, he's honest.
So there your have it. What one federal judge called Goodell's "own brand of industrial justice." Still treating misdemeanors like felonies, felonies like parking tickets and possible federal crimes like they're not worth the league's time and money and letting the accused investigate themselves. We'll all be on the edge of our seats waiting to see what Snyder's bought and paid for lawyers will come up with.