Daniel Snyder is apparently throwing in the burgundy and gold towel. The Washington Commanders owner has hired Bank of America regarding “potential transactions,” as the team put it Wednesday, November 2nd. In plain English, Snyder is looking for someone to buy the team.
Whoever is interested had better have both a very fat wallet and an amazing line of credit. Forbes estimates the team’s value to be $5.6B. The new owner will also need to pony up for a new stadium and put shovels in the ground for same 15 minutes earlier than as soon as possible, as the team’s current home is a disintegrating disaster.
FedEx Field isn’t the only disaster at play. Snyder is easily the most detested and detestable team owner in American professional sports. In 2009, the team paid a former employee $1.6M to settle a claim that Snyder had sexually assaulted her on a team plane. The woman was and is hardly alone in this area; 15 women employed at different levels in the Washington organization came forward in 2020 with detailed reports of harassment and disrespect on multiple levels. In 2021, the NFL fined Snyder $10M for the team’s toxic workplace culture. More recently, Snyder has reportedly threatened to go scorched earth on other NFL team owners and league commissioner Roger Goodell. The team is under both state (Virginia) and federal investigation regarding financial improprieties regarding reporting ticket sales and account handling for season ticket holders. As an aside, it’s impossible not to believe the latter is a more pressing issue as far as the NFL is concerned than the misogynism on steroids prevalent for years in the team’s front office.
Flipping back to potential new ownership, one suspects the league would dearly love a minority owner or ownership team. However, no discount will be available for any such individual or group. In the NFL, the only color that genuinely matters is green.
At one time, Washington was year in and year out one of the NFL’s premiere franchises. Its twice-a-year tilts with Dallas were automatically the highlights of that’s week schedule regardless of any other matchups. The whining about the team’s name change aside, is it too much to ask such a franchise to be run professionally? One can decry the NFL’s embracing of woke culture in recent years. That’s fine. That does not mean blowing off boorish workplace behavior, and financial malfeasance, is acceptable. It is never acceptable. The sooner Snyder finds a buyer and is out of the league, the better.