Washington football fans rejoice this week as two deals for commanders have reportedly come in that would shoot dan snyder in the strata of the atmosphere occupied by donald sterling, Roberto Sarver, and other discarded former owners of professional sports franchises. Let’s call it Irrelevance.
Don’t worry, Snyder won’t take up so much space that there isn’t a chair waiting for you. james dolan.
But this latest scene in our nation’s capital should by no means stop Snyder out of the woods for all the damage done in Washington during his time as owner of the multi-name football team there.
Or the nfl for that matter.
Snyder oversaw a toxic workplace
This is a proprietary group that allows small and big disasters accumulate and then only took action when they realized it affected the bottom line. pervasive culture of bullying? No problem! Oh wait, is that bullying culture part of the reason Maryland and Virginia won’t commit to Snyder building a new stadium around Washington D.c.? And is that affecting the revenue that the Washington franchisee is contributing to the socialist revenue fund that benefits all owners?
Now that’s a problem.
When Snyder was running an organization that was supposedly mass-produced non-disclosure agreements to buy some peace and quiet, all was well. Heck, maybe that even gave the Houston Texans some ideas when the whole subject of DeShaun Watson’s massage problem came to the surface (Watson has denied the allegations..) But when ESPN broke the news that Snyder took out a $55 million loan without informing the team’s ownership group partners, prompting a federal investigation, well, that didn’t come to pass.
The NFL should make its investigation public
The NFL must make the investigation into the Washington football team public not so much by Snyder, but by the organization itself. This is a group of owners willing to defend the indefensible, ignore the unignorable, and support the most toxic figure in sports property since the NBA ousted Sterling from Los Angeles.
Protecting the shield does not mean protecting the men who use NFL property as a platform for abuse and mismanagement. Letting Snyder walk away after a $6 billion payday is not a happy ending to this mess. With all that money, he can buy an even bigger yacht than the $100 million “Lady S” to spend. summers in the Mediterranean supposedly avoiding subpoenas.
When will this ownership group learn that owners who might abuse power when it comes to cheerleaders, women in the office, and other employees might not make good business partners either? The NFL has a pretty bad track record when it comes to picking owners. Perhaps there aren’t many Nobel Prize winners running around with the amount of money it would take to buy an NFL franchise: “Would you like to pay in cryptocurrency, sir?” — but the NFL might want to vet these guys a little better.
Among this crop of NFL owners are people who have been arrested, sued and investigated and this The Seattle Times story does a good job of overcoming some of those incidents here.. The NFL doesn’t need to look for perfection in prospective owners, maybe just find some candidates who are a little less fraud-adjacent.
Of course, obscene wealth is the most important requirement, but surely that doesn’t rule out some decency as well. I’ve heard that some wealthy people can even foster non-hostile work environments on a regular basis. Could we add that to the search criteria as well?
The problem with owners like Snyder is that they’re a problem for the NFL, and the league needs a better way to handle the metric tons of damage they can do to their own team and the sports universe at large. Owning an NFL team is a platform. I think we can all agree that knowing anything about who Dan Snyder is has been an intrusion into our collective sports consciousness. A place he apparently would have been happy to continue camping if the NFL hadn’t slowly forced him to sell the equipment.
Because some people don’t mind booing when they have that kind of power.