Dan Snyder’s tenure as owner of the Washington Commanders is as tumultuous as it gets. In the last two years, the billionaire has sustained powerful blows to the credibility of the organization.
In 2020, The Washington Post chronicled more than 40 women alleging a toxic workplace environment filled inappropriate conduct perpetrated by Snyder and other male colleagues. An independent investigation verified the claims, and the NFL fined the franchise $10 million.
Congresses involvement with the franchise didn’t begin until this year. On April 12, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission alleging fraudulent behavior pertaining to team finances.
The fraudulent behavior – which includes improperly hiking ticket prices and reporting falsified records, hiding vastly different numbers from the league – is the latest can of worms opened by Dan Snyder.
The congressional committee is actively pursuing the allegations, holding hearings last Thursday on the matter. And while Snyder pledged cooperation, his absence and refusal to testify says otherwise.
On Monday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted a statement from a committee spokesperson voicing displeasure with the team owner:
The statement reads, “(Snyder’s) refusal to testify sends an unmistakeable signal that Mr. Snyder has something to hide and is afraid of coming clean to the American public”, sending an intentional shockwave through the league. While Snyder sits on the hot seat for his truancy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is next on the docket.
Goodell will testify to the toxic work environment and to the league’s investigative handlings during a Zoom appearance before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
Dan Snyder’s Can of Worms
The league’s investigation into the workplace environment near the nation’s capital caused rifts outside of just the one franchise. Leaked emails turned over to the league in the course of the investigation brought to light correspondences deemed discriminatory, forcing the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden in 2021.
Just last week, Warren Sapp acquitted Gruden of ill-will, speaking to the disgraced coach’s character in an episode of VladTV on Youtube. Sapp claims, “There’s no way a fire-breathing racist would be in front of me or on my speed dial”.
The NFL’s legendary lineman also points the finger back to the league office, asking for the release of the “chain of replies”. Unreleased to the public eye, the league holds thousands of emails containing potentially damaging messages, theoretically creating large amounts of backlash if unleashed.
As for Snyder, the House Oversight Committee’s statement today shows an unwillingness to walk away from fighting the billionaire. The owner can change the team’s name or move the stadium, but Snyder can no longer hide.