Lisa Banks, Debra Katz threaten legal action against NFL

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The NFL seems to be worried about being sued by Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, if the league tries to force him out. The NFL apparently should also be worried about being sued by former Commanders employees.

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz have sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell threatening suit against the league over the potential of the names of clients who cooperated with lawyer Beth Wilkinson’s investigation to Snyder.

The letter refers to the recent ESPN article, which contents among many other things that “Snyder used Beth Wilkinson’s investigation as a ‘type sheet’ to compile his ‘enemies list’ and to create his 100-slide presentation.”

“If true, this was in clear violation of a very specific promise the NFL made to our clients, through Ms. Wilkinson and her team, that witness names would be kept confidential and not shared with Mr. Snyder or the Washington Commanders,” the lawyers wrote to Goodell. “It was based solely on this assurance that many of our clients agreed to participate in the investigation, as they feared retaliation if their names were disclosed.

“This fear was apparently well-founded. After participating in the investigation, and after the NFL revealed witness names, several of our clients were harassed by private investigators, some were publicly disparaged and/or removed from team alumni groups, and at least one who was still working for the team was terminated . We now know why. If true, the ‘type sheet’ allegation is not only morally reprehensible, but it also provides the basis for us to take legal action against the NFL, which we will do given the serious harm caused to our clients by their reliance on the NFL’s promises ”

The letter also points out the hypocrisy inherent to the league’s stubborn refusal to release any of Beth Wilkinson’s report due to the claim that confidentiality was promised to certain witnesses and the league’s alleged failure to keep specific names away from Snyder.

“In the interest of full disclosure, you can and should release the report prepared by Beth Wilkinson, just as you have committed to do with the Mary Jo White investigation, and redact or anonymized witness names however necessary. Otherwise, you must provide an honest explanation for your refusal to do so,” the layers wrote.

The letter concluded with a renewed request to meet with Goodell. And here’s the hammer: “If you ignore our request, as you have with our past requests to talk to you directly, we will assume that the reporting by [ESPN] is true and we will move forward with formal legal action on behalf of our clients.”

The league has consistently claimed that the promises of anonymity require all facts from the Wilkinson report to be kept secret. That flimsy argument becomes even flimsier if the anonymity was completely disregarded when it comes to the very man from whom the former employees wanted to be protected.

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