Ron Rivera joins in organizational plea to let bygones be bygones

Ron Rivera joins in organizational plea to let bygones be bygones

The Commanders would like you to quit talking about the past. Well, not the past championship years, which are now accurately emblazoned on the organization’s official crest. They want you to forget about recent years that involved rampant dysfunction within an inherently toxic workplace.

Coach Ron Rivera added his respected voice to that message on Wednesday, in connection with the press conference regarding the new contract given to receiver Terry McLaurin.

“As I ask, please don’t judge us from, ‘This happened at this point in time,’” Rivera said, via John Keim of ESPN.com. “We’re going forward. We’re changing things. We’re trying to do the best we can. I know some people don’t think it matters, but it does matter. It shows you can change, you can adapt, you can make things better. You can correct your mistakes, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re correcting our mistakes; we’re getting a lot of support.”

It definitely matters that things are changing, but it’s meaningless without knowing the full extent of the problems that forced the team to make the changes — and it comes off as too predictable and convenient when the person at the heart of the past problems, owner Daniel Snyder, simply wants to avoid a true and full reckoning for his actions.

Rivera wasn’t part of the problem, and he’s definitely trying to be a big part of the solution. However, he took the job knowing the history. It can’t just be ignored, especially when it’s never been fully and fairly explored.

“We’re doing the best we can putting the best players in position so we can build something we can all be proud of,” Rivera said. “I get a little upset about it because I get it, it’s a news item. What we do on the field is important; that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to say what happened isn’t important because it is. It’s something we need to make sure societally going forward we don’t let those things happen again so we’re doing everything we can to make sure we are better.”

That’s fine. It’s admirable. It’s expected. But it in no way excuses what happened in the past, or the ongoing efforts to keep the facts hidden — up to and including Snyder’s ongoing effort to stiff arm the House Oversight Committee by not accepting service of a subpoena for testimony that would help bring about the reckoning he has managed to avoid to date, and that he wants to forever duck in part by insisting that everyone look through the windshield, not at the rearview mirror.

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