NFL juggling three high-profile legal challenges
With training camp less than a month away, the NFL is juggling three complex and potentially damaging legal challenges.
1. Daniel Snyder: A congressional hearing, which Snyder declined to attend, was held Wednesday by the House Oversight Committee, which released the findings of its Commanders investigation earlier in the day.
- Driving the news: The committee found that Snyder conducted a "shadow investigation" in an attempt to discredit his accusers, which the NFL knew about but never tried preventing.
- What they're saying: "I don't have the authority to remove him," commissioner Roger Goodell told the panel when asked if he will remove Snyder as owner.
- What's next: Committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) will subpoena Snyder for a deposition next week.
2. Deshaun Watson: 20 of the 24 lawsuits filed against Watson alleging sexual misconduct during massage appointments have been settled.
- The backdrop: Watson was already cleared of criminal charges, but 24 civil suits remained. Ashley Solis, the first woman who filed suit, was among the four who did not settle.
- What they're saying: "[She] is one of the heroes of this story," Watson's attorney, Tony Buzbee, said of Solis while lauding her "courage and willingness to come forward."
- What's next: The settlements have no bearing on Watson's league-issued punishment, which should be announced soon and is expected to be "significant."
3. Brian Flores: The NFL filed a motion on Tuesday requesting that former Dolphins coach Brian Flores' lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices be sent to arbitration.
- Why it matters: Arbitration would ensure the proceedings and any sensitive information remain private, with Goodell serving as the arbitrator.
- What they're saying: "Arbitration is privatizing the judicial branch,” said Flores’ lawyer David Gottlieb. "All we're asking for is an open and fair process.”
- Of note: Jon Gruden, who is also suing the NFL, won a crucial ruling last month that denied the NFL's motions to force arbitration.