The NFL determined allegations made by current Grambling coach Hue Jackson that the Cleveland Browns intentionally lost games to improve its draft position when he was head coach could not be substantiated.
Jackson, who had stints as head coach with the then-Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns, suggested in February that Browns owner Jimmy Haslem attempted to incentivize the team to lose.
The NFL announced that after a 60-day review, independent investigators “determined that none of the allegations could be substantiated.”
The league said that Jackson initially agreed to meet with the investigators, but ultimately did not. Investigators, however, did have access to public statements and filings he had previously made, as well as his testimony in a prior arbitration proceeding.
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Kimberley Diemert, an executive representing Jackson’s foundation, alleged records were available that documented Cleveland team executives Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry and Jackson — were paid bonuses to tank in 2016 and 2017.
Under Jackson, Cleveland went 3-36 in three seasons, including an 0-16 mark in 2017.
“Well Jimmy Haslam, was happy while we kept losing,” Jackson wrote on Twitter in response to claims made by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores that he was encouraged by ownership to tank game. “Trust me it was a good number.”
Jackson, who is just one of 21 Black NFL head coaches in the 101-year history of the league, wrote in another tweet that he supports Flores in his efforts.
“I stand with Brian Flores. I can back up every word i’m saying,” Jackson said.”
” …if you knew the truth you would swallow everything in your mouth, Jackson said in response to skepticism about claims of racism in the NFL. “Enough. Truth just starting to seep out of what really happens in the NFL. Trust me there are some great owners out there and there are some people you better dig deeper and see the truth.”
Jackson, nor his representatives, have commented on the NFL’s ruling.