While processing the latest manifestation of dysfunction from one of the league's most inept franchises in recent years, an email arrived regarding another dysfunctional team.
From ESPN public relations: "Today, ESPN.com published an investigation into the Arizona Cardinals’ workplace culture under owner Michael Bidwill. The team’s workplace culture has come under scrutiny since April, when a former team executive filed an arbitration complaint accusing the team and owner of gross misconduct, including discrimination and harassment, among other allegations. Many of those interviewed by ESPN for the report described a workplace they found abusive and intimidating. Bidwill told ESPN he is working to improve team culture."
Here’s the story. I haven't read every singly word. I've read or skimmed it all very closely for anything new and/or eye-opening. The only fresh information of significance in the lengthy article comes from the identification of the "young African American employee" whom Bidwill "cursed at and berated . . . in a racially charged manner," as alleged in former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough's arbitration claim against the team.
In a deposition given in connection with McDonoughs' claim, former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks identified the employee as Alfonza Knight, who has worked as a scout for the team since 2014. According to three unnamed sources citied by ESPN.com, the incident pertained to a parking spot at the team facility. Knight declined comment.
From McDonough's claim to the team's shameful P.R. attack on McDonough after he filed it to comments from former executive Ron Minegar to last month's reporting from TheAthletic.com to ESPN's new article without much real news, one question remains. Will the NFL send in Mary Jo White or some other investigator?
For now, it seems unlikely. The allegations haven't reached a critical mass that calls out for league scrutiny. Without a smoking gun that sends the story to a new level of urgency, it's all starting to feel like background noise.
If Knight goes on the record and tells a compelling story, that could be the thing that sparks an investigation by the league. Which is the last thing Bidwill should want. An investigator who starts looking for one thing might find something else. In time, there might be enough to force Bidwill.