This is Melanie Coburn, back when she was still leading cheers for the then-Washington R-words and before her crew was disbanded amid allegations that team executives were emailing nude photos taken during her squads calendar shoots. More recently, she's been one of the most outspoken critics of the way the NFL has handled the 650,000 emails its in possession of:
... but also of the Washington Football Team owner, specifically. These are her words, in that USA Today opinion piece she wrote:
But let me remind you – Gruden’s actions pale in comparison with those of Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder.
Where are the other 649,995 emails? What about those from Snyder and former team general counsel Dave Donovan concerning the $1.6 million sexual assault settlement a female employee received in 2009? What about the email I wrote to human resources in October 2005 concerning harassment from a football player (which was disregarded)?
In case you forgot about “the good bits” videos produced by Larry Michael, the team’s then-lead broadcaster and senior vice president, let me remind you. Michael and his team produced two videos featuring the naked bodies of WFT cheerleaders – filmed without their knowledge or consent – and one former employee said they were made specifically for Snyder. The soundtrack for the videos was a mashup of Snyder’s favorite songs. (Both Michael and Snyder have denied these claims.)
And most recently, Coburn leveled an allegation against Snyder to Fox News, that is huge, if true:
"These emails were also a result of the investigation that we participated in … and yet the only person to take fall for these terrible wrongdoings was a coach of another team. …
"I believe Dan Snyder leaked these emails," Coburn told Fox News. "I believe he’s trying to put all the blame on Bruce Allen. He sent over a dozen private investigators to my colleagues’ homes across the country … to show up on cheerleaders' doorstops and ask them what their relationship with Bruce Allen was." …
Coburn said she felt confident that Snyder was behind the leaks. "I feel like he’s trying to pin everything on Bruce, right, and place all the blame for all of the bad culture on him, which just isn’t true."
"Any suggestion by Ms. Coburn that anyone associated with the Washington Football Team was behind any leaks concerning Jon Gruden is categorically false and part of a pattern of misinformation being spread by Ms. Coburn," the attorney, Jordan Siev, told Fox News.
I've emphasized that last paragraph not to reflect my own opinion on this. But just because Snyder, like a lot of lucky spermers who were to the manor born, is a litigious little monkey with a lot of attorneys on his payroll. So before one of his Bar Association card-wielding minions reaches for his laptop to contact my supervisors to threaten a lawsuit, they can say "Thornton boldfaced Jordan Siev's denial. What more was he supposed to do?"
Suing people on behalf of Dan Snyder is a full time job. And I just want them to go waste their billable hours putting out public relations fires elsewhere. And to further insulate myself from having to find myself in a conference room getting deposed by one of these twats, let me say that Snyder is alleged to have leaked the emails by Coburn. That she believes that only Gruden's emails have been leaked because it's her opinion that Snyder is trying to distract the public. It's her speculation that first Gruden and now Bruce Allen are being made to take the fall for other possible transgressions. She claims that Snyder's operatives went around the country to perhaps get them to put the blame on Allen. She has accused him of having a video of cheerleaders nip slips set to his supposedly favorite song. But that all of this is merely conjecture. Snyder's attorney denies the allegations and nothing has been proven.
There. Come at me, bro.
Of course, like Melanie Coburn, we're all free to speculate. So let's say that - completely hypothetically, mind you - the insanely wealthy owner of some multibillion dollar operation with enormous amounts of power and influence became aware of some correspondence that was written and sent on the companies email servers that would damage both the institution he runs but himself personally. Now I'm not talking about anyone in particular, this is all just a thought experiment. No names need be attached. Generally speaking, would you say that such an owner might look for someone lower down the corporate food chain to take the fall? And then manage the information he has at his disposal in order to make others look bad while keeping the truly incriminating material away from the public? Is that how powerful people behave, on average?
Anyway, this former Washington cheerleader seems to think Dan Snyder did. Make that think. The rest of us can judge for ourselves. All that we know for certain is the NFL won't lift a finger to look into this any further.