Getty Images

The Beth Wilkinson report into the toxic workplace culture with the Washington football franchise is a key element to the District of Columbia Attorney General's civil lawsuit, filed Thursday, against the team, owner Dan Snyder, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell.

But that doesn't mean they have to get the report. Or, even if they do, it doesn't mean they have to release the report publicly.

That's according to attorneys working at the D.C. attorney general Karl Racine's office. The office believes residents of D.C. are entitled to understand the findings of the report beyond the few details released by the NFL in July 2021, but it is not necessarily saying the report be made public.

The Wilkinson investigation lasted 10 months, and she spoke to more than 150 witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents. The NFL did not collect a final written report from her, though, and instead relied on oral briefings.

The NFL has said repeatedly that it did not produce the written report because some portion of those interviewed wished to remain anonymous. When asked last month by CBS Sports whether the league would consider issuing a heavily redacted report to NFL owners so they could determine next steps for Snyder, Goodell reiterated the league's position.

"I think we've been very clear about that over the last year," Goodell said. "To get people to participate so we could really understand what the culture [was] and what was going on in the organization during that period of time, people wanted to have assurance of confidentiality. Maybe not all. Some people have come public and that's their prerogative. But for those who came forward that asked for that, we're going to stand by it."

The attorney general's office makes the claim that not enough information was released by the NFL relating to the Wilkinson findings. On Thursday, the NFL issued this statement:

"The independent investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders was thoroughly and comprehensively conducted by Beth Wilkinson and her law firm," NFL chief spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. "Following the completion of the investigation, the NFL made public a summary of Ms. Wilkinson's findings and imposed a record-setting fine against the club and its ownership.

"We reject the legally unsound and factually baseless allegations made today by the D.C. Attorney General against the NFL and Commissioner Goodell and will vigorously defend against those claims."

The civil lawsuit is being brought against the four parties under the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act. Racine is arguing that because the Commanders sell tickets and merchandise to D.C. residents, that robust statute is appropriate because it applies to entities that do business with D.C. consumers, who have the right to accurate information and the right to not be deceived.