Did Roc Nation CEO Leak Racist Emails That Got Jon Gruden Fired?
Yesterday Don Van Atta and Seth Wickersham posted a long and convoluted story on espn.com regarding the NFL getting Daniel Snyder to finally sell the Washington Commanders. It deserves to be read and probably multiple times to fully comprehend it.
The thrust of the story is ‘who leaked the racist emails that eventually got Jon Gruden fired'? According to the story, the potential list is not short.
Van Atta and Wickersham wrote Snyder made a Blackmail Powerpoint, showing other owners the dirt he collected on them and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. They also wrote Goodell and Gruden don’t particularly like each other.
So was it Snyder and or Goodell who leaked the emails? The list doesn’t stop with them.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice F. Smith, who was on the receiving end of some of Gruden’s racist emails, is among those who may have leaked the emails.
But so is Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez. Jay Z’s Roc Nation was enlisted by the NFL to help with social issues.
Perez declined repeated opportunities to speak with an ESPN reporter. An attorney representing her said in a letter to an ESPN attorney that "Ms. Perez had no role whatsoever in the leaking of any emails, or in any discussion or decision to leak any emails.”
The league partnered with Roc Nation in a $25 million, five-year deal to reshape the Super Bowl halftime show, produce music tied to the season, amplify the league's social justice agenda and, perhaps most importantly, move beyond the controversy around teams' unwillingness to sign Kaepernick.
Some felt "the partnership also gave Perez, the Roc Nation CEO, an open door to the league office".
Thursday morning Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala from the Washington Post wrote about issues completing Snyder's sale of the Commanders.