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Former team president Bruce Allen testifies in House panel’s Washington NFL investigation

Associated Press/Brian Blanco

Former Washington Commanders team president Bruce Allen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in its investigation into workplace misconduct allegations against the NFL franchise. 

Allen, who is the son of former Commanders head coach George Allen, delivered a deposition remotely to the House panel on Tuesday after being handed down a notice to appear before the committee. 

A spokesperson for the committee confirmed to The Hill that the former team president testified before the committee.  

“The Committee is continuing to investigate the decades-long workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders and the NFL’s failure to address it,” the panel’s spokesperson told The Hill.  “Mr. Allen served in senior roles under team owner Dan Snyder for many years, so his testimony is important for the Committee to fully understand these serious issues and advance reforms to protect workers in the future.”

A source told The Washington Post that the 66-year-old former team executive refused to testify unless he was subpoenaed by the committee. Allen reportedly would’ve been accused of violating his separation agreement with the franchise if he had testified before the congressional committee  without a subpoena. 

Both Snyder and Roger Goodell, the NFL’s commissioner, recently testified before the House panel in the team’s investigation. 

Allen’s testimony comes after the committee launched its probe into the Washington Commanders organization and Snyder in October after Allen’s email chain with former NFL head coach Jon Gruden, which contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic language and was part of the NFL’s initial investigation into the team, was leaked to the public.

The leaked email chain, which spanned seven years, also led Gruden, who won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to resign from his position as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Gruden, who recently said he was “ashamed” for taking part in that leaked email chain with Allen,  filed a lawsuit against the NFL in November alleging that the league deliberately leaked his emails to media outlets in an effort to force him out of his job. 

In a memo released earlier this year, the committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), said that Snyder and his legal counsel sent private investigators to the homes of the accusers and gathered thousands of emails from Allen in an attempt to show that former team executive created a toxic work environment within the franchise.

Allen, who said that the Washington, D.C.-based NFL organization had a “damn good” culture, was relieved of his duties as team president in December 2019 after spending 10 seasons with the organization. 

The NFL launched its second investigation into the team earlier this year after former cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston, while speaking at a House Oversight and Reform Committee roundtable discussion on the matter, accused Snyder of sexually harassing her during a work-related dinner.

Snyder, who has owned the Commanders since 1999, has publicly denied the allegations against him and his NFL franchise. 

In a statement to The Hill, one of the attorneys representing the former Commanders employees involved in the investigations applauded the news of Allen’s testimony. 

“I am pleased that the Committee on Oversight & Reform continues its important work in investigating the allegations of a toxic workplace culture and financial improprieties at the Washington Commanders,” attorney Lisa Banks said in a statement. “Given his long tenure and close relationship to Dan Snyder and Commanders top management, Bruce Allen should be in a unique position to shed light on the many important issues being examined by the Committee.”

The Hill has reached out to the Washington Commanders and the attorneys for Dan Snyder for comment and more information. 

Tags Bruce Allen Bruce Allen Dan Snyder Dan Snyder Dan Snyder Deposition George Allen House Committee on Oversight and Reform Jon Gruden NFL Roger Goodell Washington Commanders workplace misconduct

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