Daniel Snyder, Does The Bell Toll For Thee?
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The clock might be ticking on the Daniel Snyder era in Washington.
An unnamed NFL owner told USA Today this week that the league brass has grown weary of all the turmoil surrounding the Commanders’ commander-in-chief and the other owners are “counting votes.”
If 24 owners vote ‘yea,’ then the league can force a sale of the team.
Snyder is, by many accounts, not very good at owning a football team. On Snyder’s watch, the team has a record of 156-212-1, attendance has plummeted and the constant scandals are a blight on the league’s reputation. Plus, there is a precedent, as (former) Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was forced out in 2017 after allegations of misconduct.
So, Dan is as good as gone, right? Not so fast.
The league needs to tread lightly here. The NFL hired attorney Beth Wilkinson in 2020 to investigate a litany of claims of misconduct. Reports from unnamed sources who had been involved in the investigation indicated that Wilkinson’s recommendation was to remove Snyder as owner. The league denied this, but requested that the report not be put in writing. Draw your own conclusions on that one.
Why would the league want to bury that report? Most likely because the owners were wary of setting a standard that they might one day be held to. While the allegations against Snyder and his sycophants were horrible, we would be foolish to believe that this behavior is isolated to our nation’s capitol. In recent weeks, we have seen reports of misconduct with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the Raiders’ Mark Davis. Snyder isn’t alone here, and forcing him out could potentially lead to the other owners being similarly scrutinized.
Dan Snyder has never been shy about litigation either. If removed, he won’t go quietly and dirt will start flying among the oligarchs. A bunch of rich guys with their own skeleton-filled closets need to think long and hard about their next move.
As far as Snyder being removed as owner, count me in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” camp.
That said, the fact that an owner is talking to the media about this means that there is probably something to it.
The key, in this humble writer's opinion, is the recently alleged financial misconduct that was brought to light by a former team employee. That might just be enough to embolden the league to vote Snyder out. The fat cats in charge will happily look the other way when female employees are being harassed, but start playing with the money and, well, you might need your fingers and toes to count the votes against Dan.
Most of us just want to watch our team win on Sundays in the fall but, if legal drama is your bag, baby, then get that popcorn ready because things might get interesting this summer.