If a new report from USA Today is accurate, the Washington Commanders may be losing their commander in chief at some point down the line.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder, who has presided over an NFL franchise that has tolerated questionable workplace conditions for women, a racist team nickname and two decades of futility on the football field, may have finally worn out his welcome in the NFL as his fellow owners are reportedly “counting votes” toward forcing him to sell his team.
For that to happen, 24 of the NFL’s 32 teams would have to vote against Snyder and he would have to comply with their wishes. Given Synder’s track record, it seems highly unlikely he would give up his team without a fight and a league-wide vote to oust him would likely be met with a prolonged legal battle.
The momentum building against Snyder comes, unsurprisingly, amid allegations of financial improprieties on Snyder’s part. Those allegations include a claim from a Washington employee that Snyder has been cheating his fellow NFL owners by withholding money that should have been surrendered into the league-wide revenue-sharing system.
Snyder, who has owned the team since 1999 and has seen his franchise win just two playoff games during his tenure as an NFL owner, was fined $10 million by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last year following a league investigation into the toxic workplace conditions in Washington. Per USA Today, Some of Snyder’s peers wanted more.
“There’s a feeling, a sense of disappointment amongst the owners that I talk to — I don’t talk to them all, but owners who come to the meetings and are active — that he wasn’t suspended,” a team owner told USA Today. “Disappointment that Roger did not act stronger.”
A vote to oust Snyder would be the owners taking matters into their own hands. However, such a vote would also set a precedent that many team owners with skeletons in their closets would not want to put in place in case the tables are turned on them at some point down the line.
With a valuation in 2021 of $4.2 billion, the Commanders are the fifth-most valuable team in the NFL and Snyder would be a very, very rich man in the event that he did get rid of the franchise. Of course, Snyder is already a very, very rich man and that hasn’t stopped him from mismanaging what used to be one of the premier franchises in the sport.
“Not anymore,” per USA Today. “It’s a franchise trying to restore its reputation on and off the field — led by an owner trying to keep from getting crushed by the walls that are closing in on him.” We’re rooting for the walls.