Former Las Vegas Raiders head Coach Jon Gruden's recent resignation amid the publication of a series of problematic emails has left the women whose privacy he allegedly invaded completely distraught.
Former cheerleaders of the Washington Football Team – who unknowingly had partially nude photos of themselves distributed allegedly by Gruden to other members of the NFL, including WFT owner Daniel Snyder and former WFT president Bruce Allen – have been left with new emotional scars since the emails were made public earlier this week.
"They're all traumatized," said Melanie Coburn, a former WFT cheerleader and the squad's marketing director for 10 years.
"It's just more anxiety-producing evidence that very private, compromising content was circulating not just amongst our team but apparently the entire NFL," she told NPR. "So it's been an emotional 24 hours, to say the least."
WFT cheerleaders previously complained about inappropriate behavior within the WFT organization, prompting some to even file lawsuits alleging that an uncensored video taken at a squad photo shoot had been distributed to team executives. The lawsuits were settled out of court, and the cheerleaders signed nondisclosure agreements.
However, the NFL launched its own investigation into the organization's workplace culture, which resulted in a $10 million fine against the team. The investigation was recently reopened to review part of the reported 650,000 emails involved in the matter, which included ones that contained "photos of women wearing only bikini bottoms, including one photo of two Washington team cheerleaders."
The emails were obtained by The New York Times, which ran a piece on Monday that exposed Gruden for not only allegedly sending the inappropriate images but also using racist, homophobic and misogynistic language. He resigned from his position hours later.
Coburn has since started a petition, calling on the NFL to "do the right thing for women" and "make Washington's sexual misconduct investigation public."
Several former WFT cheerleaders have signed it.
"If it wasn't for [the New York Times article,] we would've never known that those pictures were going through the mail servers between these two really important people in the NFL," noted alum Candess Correll.
She told The Daily Beast that not even the women directly involved in the emails have seen the league's investigation report or been made known of its results despite them being "the actual victims" of the situation.