Is This What Finally Brings Down Dan Snyder As Owner Of Washington's Football Team?

Zinger Key Points
  • No active NFL owner has ever been removed, and one of the key battles is the fact that three-fourths of the league owners have to agree to vote out an owner.
  • While many owners were likely able to look the other way on past issues, the latest news shows that Snyder and the Commanders may have hurt the other teams financially, something that could get owners to vote Snyder out.

The Washington Commanders NFL team has seen a series of events in two years that some teams do not see in a lifetime.

Here’s a look at the major news stories about the team and how the latest could spell an exit for Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder.

What Happened: A new report filed with the Federal Trade Commission alleges the Washington Commanders of the National Football League “purposefully withheld ticket revenue that’s meant to be shared with the rest of the league.” The report also says the team failed to refund up to $5 million in security deposits to fans.

“We are writing to share evidence of concerning business practices by the Washington Commanders uncovered during the Committee’s ongoing investigation into workplace misconduct as a team,” members of the House Oversight Committee said in a letter to the FTC.

NFL teams must give 40% of their home ticket sales to the league. This total then gets distributed to the other 31 teams in the league.

Commanders’ former VP of sales and customer service Jason Friedman testified that the team had two sets of books and the team sent one to the league that “underreported certain ticket revenue.”

The Commanders also retained around $5 million in security deposits from up to 2,000 customers since 2016, the committee report said. 

The investigation by the House Oversight Committee began last year with a look at over 650,000 emails under a separate probe into sexual harassment claims by former employees.

The Commanders “categorically denies any suggestion of financial impropriety of any kind at any time,” the team told Axios.

Other Allegations Over the Years: The Commanders have faced a handful of allegations and fines over the last two years.

One of the biggest sticking points between Snyder and other Commanders’ owners and fans was the team name. The team, formerly known as the Redskins, was one of many professional sports teams that faced calls to change due to the racial connotations.

“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder said in 2013.

After a battle, the team eventually let go of the Redskins name and played as the Washington Football Team for the 2020 season.

In July 2020, the team faced sexual misconduct allegations from former employees. News came out later in December 2020 that Snyder had previously settled sexual misconduct allegations for $1.6 million in 2009.

In March 2021, Snyder became the sole owner of the Commanders by buying out a 40.5% stake from three minority owners including FedEx Corp FDX CEO Fred Smith. Snyder previously blocked the sellers from a sale of their stake to other interested parties.

In July 2021, the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million for its workplace culture. Co-CEO Tonya Snyder took over the day-to-day duties of the team for months as her husband moved to a behind-the-scenes role to sidestep the recent troubles of the team.

The list of allegations against the team continues and the investigation into sexual harassment claims continues. A member of the U.S. Congress made an interesting comparison between the football team and a mobster movie.

“Quite frankly, as you go through the allegations it reads like a description of some organization out of 'The Godfather' and not an NFL football team,” U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi told ESPN.

Related Link: Toronto Blue Jays, Denver Broncos And More Sports Teams Could Be For Sale: Will A SPAC Land A Deal 

Why It’s Important: Over the years, Snyder and the Commanders have faced several controversies involving the league, former employees and fans. It appears that the latest could be a tipping point for the league as it involves directly hurting fans’ wallets and other teams.

No active NFL owner has ever been removed, and one of the key battles is the fact that three-fourths of the league owners have to agree to vote out an owner. While many owners were likely able to look the other way on past issues, the latest news shows that Snyder and the Commanders may have hurt the other teams financially, something that could get owners to vote Snyder out.

If the NFL forces Snyder out, it could put another NFL team up for sale.

The Denver Broncos are on the block, with former Walmart Inc WMT chairman Rob Walton among those interested. Walton is the oldest of Walmart founder Sam Walton’s children and served as the chairman of the retailer from 1992 to 2015.

Among those who could be interested in owning the Commanders is Amazon.com AMZN founder Jeff Bezos. Back in February 2021 when the minority shareholders were looking to sell, Bezos was among those interested in acquiring the stake.

The last NFL team to be sold was the Carolina Panthers in 2018 for $2.2 billion. The rumored $4-billion price tag on the Broncos would break a U.S. sports team sale record. The Broncos are valued at $3.75 billion, ranking tenth in the latest Forbes valuations. The Commanders rank fifth at $4.2 billion, suggesting they could command an even larger price tag if Snyder is ousted.

Photo By All-Pro Reels via Wikimedia

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Posted In: NewsSportsGeneralAxiosDan SnyderDaniel Snyderdenver broncosFed SmithForbesNational Football LeaguenflRob WaltonSam WaltonSports TeamsWashington CommandersWashington Football TeamWashington Redskins
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