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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has said the league has no plans to release emails involved in the investigation.