The dizzying events that led Daniel Snyder to sell Commanders

The announcement on Wednesday that Daniel Snyder would hire an investment bank to consider the possibility of selling the Washington Commanders came after a dizzying series of events over the past 2½ years, a period in which change, controversy and scandal engulfed Snyder and the a franchise he has owned. since 1999.

Snyder’s grip on the franchise, a once-beloved civic institution ravaged by two decades of dysfunction, has weakened in recent weeks as calls from fans to sell the team spread to league ownership circles, most vocally from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Even then, Snyder released defiant statements about never selling the team – as he had once stated he would never change the team’s name, which he finally did under pressure from sponsors in 2020.

Since Snyder dropped the name, a move that was meant to bolster his position within the league, a series of allegations and subsequent investigations have jeopardized his status. Snyder had long been the object of scorn from fans and the eyes of his fellow owners. But it was the turmoil of the past 2½ years that carved the path to Wednesday’s announcement.

On July 13, 2020, days after team sponsor FedEx called for a franchise to drop the “Redskins” name on the grounds that it was a slur, the team announced it would “retire” the name without introducing a replacement at once. In the weeks leading up to the announcement, three minority owners began the process of selling their shares, totaling 40 percent of the franchise.

Three days later, The Washington Post published a report in which more than a dozen women alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse by teammates. The allegations led to the firing or resignation of several front office officials, including longtime radio voice Larry Michael, and prompted Snyder to hire high-powered lawyer Beth Wilkinson to investigate the team’s workplace.

In mid-August, Snyder hired Jason Wright to replace Bruce Allen, making Wright the first Black NFL team president. The selection of Wright, a former NFL running back who became a respected business consultant, was widely praised. The goodwill would not last.

The Post published another story on August 26, 2020, in which former employees alleged more lewd behavior in the workplace, including the production of a video with footage of partially nude cheerleaders filmed without their knowledge in a photo shoot. Five days later, the NFL took over the Wilkinson investigation. The Post would later report that Snyder, contrary to his public statements, had interfered with the investigator.

As the investigation progressed, Snyder’s disagreement with his minority partners grew, court documents released in December 2020 revealed. In March 2021, the owners on the NFL’s finance committee approved a debt waiver that enabled Snyder to borrow $ 450 million to buy the partners, which put the entire franchise in his hands.

The results of the Wilkinson investigation arrived months later, almost a year after it began. On July 2, 2021, the NFL fined Snyder $10 million and, while not officially suspending Snyder, said his wife, Tanya Snyder, would take control of the franchise. The league did not release Wilkinson’s report, offering a summary instead, a decision that drew widespread criticism and continues to reverberate.

“The culture of the club was very toxic and far below the values ​​of the NFL,” said Lisa Friel, the league’s special counsel for investigations.

In response to the league’s decision not to release the full findings of Wilkinson’s investigation, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in October 2021 opened an investigation into the team’s workplace culture in part to pressure the NFL to make the findings public.

That same month, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times published excerpts from emails Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden sent to Allen in 2011 that contained racist, homophobic language. The emails had been part of the series of documents reviewed by the NFL as part of its investigation. Many within the league suspected that Snyder or someone in his employ had let them go, and Tanya Snyder denied it to co-owners in a league meeting.

Washington ended the 2021 season without a name, still going by the Washington Football Team. On Feb. 2 — days after former quarterback Joe Theismann let the new name slip during a radio interview — the franchise revealed it had chosen to be called the Commanders.

The next day, former founder and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston accused Snyder of sexual harassment in testimony to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, part of a slew of new allegations presented to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

In response to the new allegations aimed directly at Snyder, the NFL hired former US attorney Mary Jo White to investigate and produce a report for Commissioner Roger Goodell. The investigation is ongoing.

The congressional committee convened again in late June, days after The Post reported that Snyder paid a $1.6 million settlement to a former female employee in 2009 after she accused Snyder of sexual assault. Snyder denied the allegation. Goodell testified over Zoom to the lawmakers for 2½ hours while a chair with Snyder’s name in front of it sat empty because he refused to attend. The committee would subpoena Snyder, and he gave a 10-hour deposition in July.

As accusations and investigations unfolded, Snyder grappled with the dilemma of finding a new stadium to replace FedEx Field, an outdated facility the franchise wants to move out of by 2027. Snyder found unwilling partners in local municipalities across three states. In May, it was revealed that the Commanders had acquired the rights to purchase 200 acres in Woodbridge, Va., as a potential stadium site. Several lawmakers in Virginia raised vehement opposition to dealing with the team, and the opposition of one of them doubled down weeks later when defensive coordinator Jack del Rio belittled the failed Jan. 6 uprising as a “dust up.”

As the league prepared for White’s findings, the owners’ sentiment changed, several people told The Post. By September, many owners came to believe that the league should force Snyder to sell the franchise. The approval of 24 of 32 owners would be needed to force a sale. An ESPN report last month, in which anonymous people said Snyder told associates he had “dirted on” fellow owners, reinforced the tension.

At a league meeting in New York on Oct. 18, Irsay made those sentiments public when he told reporters, “I think there’s merit in firing him as an owner.”

The Managers responded forcefully, calling the comments inappropriate. In a statement, a spokesperson insisted after all the evidence came to light, “Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won’t.”

About two weeks later came a revelation from Snyder himself that, after a whirlwind 2½ years, they could.

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Who is the highest paid NFL owner? According to the newest billionaire numbers from Forbes, the title of richest NFL owner goes to Carolina’s David Tepper, who has a total net worth of $16. To see also : Cowboy cheerleader with highlights shaves her head.7 billion, making him the 103rd richest person in the world.

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Are the Commanders being sold?

Management announced that Tanya and Dan Snyder have hired Bank of America Securities to examine the sale of their franchise. Dan Snyder has hired Bank of America to sell the Washington Commanders, per @Forbes. This may interest you : Tilda Swinton leaves ‘Parasite’ TV series: “But I’m very happy to be a cheerleader”. The team is currently valued at $5.6 billion, the most expensive sports team sale in history.

Is Snyder selling the Commanders? Dan and Tanya Snyder announced Wednesday that they are exploring selling the Washington Commanders, a welcome splash of news for weary fans that could also revive the push for a new stadium.

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