Days after an inflammatory ESPN piece reported the owner of the Washington Commanders has been collecting “dirt” on his NFL fellow owners from sources including private investigation firms, one of his peers has declared there is “merit” to remove the 57-year-old from the ranks of league ownership.
Speaking to reporters from the hotel lobby of the Conrad New York Downtown following a league meeting on Tuesday, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there’s “consideration” that Daniel Snyder should be removed as the owner of the Commanders. For that to happen, 24 of the league’s 32 owners would need to approve Snyder’s removal. While a vote on the matter will not be taking place this week, it’s possible it could wind up on the docket at the NFL’s winter meeting once a lengthy league investigation into workplace behavior in Washington is complete.
“Some of the things I’ve heard doesn’t represent us at all,” Irsay said. “I want the American public to know what we’re about as owners. You can’t shy away from the fact that, I believe it’s in the best interest of the National Football League that we look at this squarely in the eyes and deal with it. That’s not what we stand for in the National Football League. I think owners have been painted incorrectly a lot of times by various people and various situations. That’s not what we’re about. I just think that once owners talk amongst each other they will arrive at the right decision. Unfortunately, that’s the road that we need to go down.”
What Irsay was specifically referring to was unclear, but there is no shortage of possibilities as Washington and Snyder have been linked to everything from sexual misconduct to withholding money from the NFL. Despite those links, a Commanders spokesperson called Irsay’s comments “inappropriate.”
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Irsay decided to go public with his statement today, while an investigation is in process, and the team has had no opportunity to formally respond to allegations,” the spokesperson said. “The Commanders have made remarkable progress over the past two years. We are confident that, when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won’t.”
While Irsay should be commended for having the guts to say what many others in league circles are likely thinking, he’s a bit of an awkward white knight as his past contains felony drug charges and a connection to a woman who fatally overdosed in 2014.
Despite that, Irsay said he’s not worried about any “dirt” Snyder can dig up. “I could care less,” he said, per Front Office Sports. “You can investigate me until the cows come home. That’s not going to back me off.”
At this point, nothing is imminent except more leaks on the matter, but Jeff Bezos is waiting if Snyder is eventually forced to sell.