Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) released a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday, expressing outrage about the Washington Redskins' apparently cursory internal investigation that preceded the club’s decision to claim linebacker Reuben Foster last week, just three days after his second arrest this year on charges of domestic violence.
“The team’s so-called investigation did not even include contacting the Tampa police for information,” Blumenthal wrote, referring to a claim made by Redskins President Bruce Allen to an ESPN reporter that the club had obtained new information from unnamed sources in Tampa regarding Foster’s Nov. 24 arrest there on a charge of domestic violence.
Allen has since declined interview requests to discuss this investigation, and a team spokesman has acknowledged the club didn’t contact Tampa police about the incident, while declining to describe what new information the Redskins obtained. The Redskins also didn’t contact law enforcement in Santa Clara County, Calif., for records there related to a prior domestic violence charge that was dropped when the same accuser, Elissa Ennis, recanted her claims.
Ennis, in an interview on “Good Morning America” on Thursday, said she lied when she recanted, in an effort to save Foster’s NFL career. Foster has denied assaulting Ennis.
"Reuben Foster’s case indicates that many organizations within the NFL still operate with a stunningly obtuse and craven moral calculus — win at all costs — and refuse to investigate claims against players,” Blumenthal wrote in the letter, which also demanded from Goodell a detailed timeline regarding the league's response to a February allegation of assault made against former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt initially denied the allegation he struck a 19-year-old woman, until TMZ published hotel security footage last Friday showing Hunt shoving and kicking the woman. The Chiefs quickly released Hunt, and unlike Foster, he has remained unemployed.
"These cases and others raise questions as to whether the NFL is truly committed to addressing the scourge of domestic violence, and whether the NFL and team owners have the effective leadership necessary to make much needed change. Until team owners stop prioritizing and enabling abusers over survivors, the NFL will have an insurmountable credibility gap,” Blumenthal wrote.
The Redskins and the NFL did not immediately reply to requests for comment Friday afternoon.