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NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith calls email leaks ‘disrespectful and unacceptable’

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith on Friday called on the league to release all emails from the workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team after the latest revelation showed a cozy relationship between a former executive and a top lawyer.

The warm messages between the NFL’s top lawyer Jeff Pash and former Washington president Bruce Allen were revealed in reports Thursday night in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Pash and Allen reportedly talked about Smith during the labor negotiations between the owners and players.

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FILE – In this c, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks at the annual state of the union news conference in Miami Beach, Fla. The NFL reacted strongly and quickly Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, to a report that Jon Gruden used a racist comment about Smith in an email 10 years ago. A Wall Street Journal story noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN and now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

“The revelations in recent days about what Jeff Pash, Bruce Allen and others have said in private are both disrespectful and unacceptable in our sport, business and society and I have relayed my thoughts directly to the Commissioner with respect to this latest email release,” Smith tweeted Friday.

“Our players have proven repeatedly that they are leaders on issues that matter both to our country and their communities, and for those at the league and club levels to insinuate otherwise is absurd.

NFL LAWYER JEFF PASH’S EMAILS WITH EX-WASHINGTON EXEC SCRUTINIZED IN NEW REPORTS

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 21:  NFL executive Vice President Jeff Pash address the media during the NFLAnnual Owners Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL Owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12, the league is conducting it's annual owner meeting in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 21:  NFL executive Vice President Jeff Pash address the media during the NFLAnnual Owners Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL Owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12, the league is conducting it’s annual owner meeting in New Orleans.
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“Our players deserve a full accounting of any other NFL misconduct, which is why we once again call for the league to release all of the emails from the Washington investigation. Any evidence or knowledge that this has been suppressed must be brought to light.”

According to The Times, Smith was “angered” after Allen denied him a field pass to a Washington home game. Pash also described Smith as the “new sheriff in town.”

Smith and the labor negotiations had been a topic of conversation in the Jon Gruden email leaks as well. The former Las Vegas Raiders coach used a racist troupe to describe the NFLPA boss, which was the first blow to his eventual downfall with the team.

The NFL pushed back on any nefarious speculation about Pash’s conversations with Allen.

President Bruce Allen of the Washington Redskins looks on  prior to the game between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

President Bruce Allen of the Washington Redskins looks on  prior to the game between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“Communication between league office employees and club executives occurs on a daily basis,” Jeff Miller, the league’s executive vice president of communications, told The New York Times in a statement. “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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NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has said the league has no plans to release emails involved in the investigation.

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