They’re talking about it. I guess that’s the best we can expect from the apex predator capitalist group known as the NFL team owners.
One of their own has been an embarrassment to the league for a long time. The league commissioner frequently speaks of protecting the shield, while Daniel Snyder defecates on it regularly. The owner of the Washington Commanders is currently not even supposed to be the face of the franchise at the moment, while serving his suspension that isn’t a suspension in the wake of an NFL investigation that revealed the organization was indeed “toxic.”
The fact that Snyder got off with a $10 million fine as a result, and no official discipline is one of several reasons some of the NFL owners are through with him. It would take 24 votes to force Snyder out of the NFL, and according to USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, the owners “are counting votes.” That investigation was led by Beth Wilkinson, whom the NFL asked for an oral report and no written recommendation. According to a 106.7 The Fan report in March 2021, if the NFL had requested her written recommendation it would have called for Snyder to be removed as team owner.
Why wouldn’t NFL owners be upset? The teams that he has fielded have been mediocre at best since he purchased the franchise in 1999. The one franchise quarterback that they’ve had in that span, his knee crumbled on the worst playing surface in the league, and arguably in the entire Washington Metropolitan Area. However, when it comes to inappropriate and despicable behavior, Snyder’s squad is one of the best to ever lack basic morality.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, and others have, in the last four years, all reported that Snyder’s organization fostered an atmosphere that led to sexual harrassment. This includes a Costa Rica trip with Washington cheerleaders that was at best dangerously close to sex trafficking — topless photo shoots that men were privied to witness as well as cheerleaders being asked to escort some of the men for the night an island they’re not from and their passports had been collected – and team executives harrasing employees and reporters. The emails Jon Gruden sent that checked all the ist and phobia boxes were leaked from an investigation about the Commanders’ toxic workplace — after of course the fine for having a toxic workplace. Currently, the Commanders are being investigated by the state of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and also the United States Congress.
The House Oversight Committee has been looking into the Commanders since Oct. 2021, Maybe they were as disappointed as some of the other owners with the way the NFL handled its investigations and the punishment that was delivered. This newinvestigationrevealed allegations of the Commanders having two sets of books to skirt its revenue sharing responsibilities and yet another woman testifying before congress about being sexually harrassed, this time by Snyder himself.
Adam “Pacman” Jones’ year-long suspension was one of Roger Goodell’s first major acts as commissioner, not because of one illegal thing that did, but because of everything that surrounded Jones. He had been arrested four times in 14 months, and in the letter that Goodell wrote to Jones, he wrote that the former defensive back’s conduct “brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league.”
Jones was a free man at that point, but the NFL had enough. I don’t agree with that punishment to this day, but nowadays I do understand the league’s position better. It is not a good look for national and local news outlets and ESPN constantly airing reports about a player in handcuffs.
Goodell, of course, doesn’t have the same latitude with team owners that he does with players — it’s difficult to punish your boss. But it is clear that some members of that group are tired of Snyder embarrassing that franchise and the shield.
It’s no small step to force out Snyder. Jerry Richardson agreed to leave, as did Eddie DeBartolo Jr. — who pleaded guilty to a felony — nearly 30 years ago. This is Donald Sterling territory, as Snyder has proven he is just as stubborn after refusing to change his franchise’s racial slur of a name until the people with the naming rights to his dump of stadium told him to do so. But owners, even anonymously, will talk to reporters about being upset with one of their own. When they don’t even talk to the media, it could be serious. They’re tired of Snyder making them look bad and maybe it means the franchise that had people passing out funeral programs outside of Exxon Stations for its death more than a decade ago can finally take a meaningful step in the right direction.