The revolving door at the Raiders’ facility in recent months has raised eyebrows throughout the league. The New York Times has tried to get to the bottom of it. And while the Times has advanced the ball, it feels like there’s more to the story that remains untold.
The Times spoke to more than a dozen former employees, who described what the Times characterized as “financial disorder.” The problem consisted of “lax controls” over the spending of money, including the “bungling” of tax payments. No one asserted that the issues constituted any type of crime.
The Times explains that erroneous information on the company’s books “can generally lead to problems with creditors, regulators, the league and others.” There is no contention that any general or specific problems have arisen, yet, due to the “financial disorder.”
The Times also reports that employees who raised concerns about the situation “were often ignored or pushed out and given settlements and nondisclosure agreements to keep them quiet.”
“If anyone complained, they were let go,” former Raiders human resources employee Nicole Adams told the Times. Adams contends she was “pushed out” in 2020. She declined to sign a severance agreement that would have included an NDA. She also said that former interim president Dan Ventrelle, who worked at the time as the team’s general counsel, “joked he would be ready to settle if anyone came forward with a charge.”
Ventrelle made headlines eight days ago with his abrupt departure, followed by a claim that he conveyed allegations of workplace misconduct to the league and was fired because of it. The Times article contains no new information as to the allegations Ventrelle received and reported.
Perhaps the most damning claim in the Times article is that the “Raiders kind of operate back in the Stone Age.” That quote came from Adams. An unnamed former employee said that “everything was still very much paper, files, boxes, warehouses.”
While there are no violations of league rules in using low-tech processes, the Times article paints a picture of incompetence with affirmative efforts to conceal the same. There’s nothing yet that crosses the kind of lines that teams like Washington allegedly have crossed. Apparently, there won’t be until Ventrelle starts offering up details, in whatever context he chooses to do so.