A former Washington Football Team cheerleader says the franchise owner is behind the email leak that has rocked the NFL.
“I believe Dan Snyder leaked these emails,” Melanie Coburn, who also served as the cheerleading team’s marketing director, told Fox News.
The messages, part of a league investigation into the WFT workplace culture, led to the resignation of Raiders coach Jon Gruden and raised questions about former Washington GM Bruce Allen.
“I believe he’s trying to put all the blame on Bruce Allen,” Coburn said.
Coburn alleges Snyder sent investigators to the homes of Washington cheerleaders seeking information about their relationship with Allen, who guided the team from 2009-2019.
“I feel like he’s trying to pin everything on Bruce, right, and place all the blame for all of the bad culture on him, which just isn’t true,” she said.
An attorney for the firm representing Snyder denied the claims to Fox News on Tuesday.
“Any suggestion by Ms. Coburn that anyone associated with the Washington Football Team was behind any leaks concerning Jon Gruden is categorically false and part of a pattern of misinformation being spread by Ms. Coburn,” Jordan Siev said in a statement.
The emails, published by the New York Times on Oct. 13, included allegedly inappropriate photos of WFT cheerleaders shared between Snyder, Gruden and Allen. Gruden’s use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic language led to his resignation as Raiders coach later that same day.
That came after 2020 accusations that Snyder instructed employees to make a lewd video of cheerleaders from a 2008 swimsuit calendar shoot. Lawsuits alleged the video was distributed among team executives and resulted in an out-of-court settlement.
“Nobody realizes that these women can’t speak up now,” Coburn said. “They’ve signed these (non-disclosure agreements) and if I don’t do it I don’t know who else is going to do it.”
Coburn signed an NDA, which was revoked so she could participate in the NFL’s investigation into the WFT work environment — which in July concluded with a $10 million fine against the organization.