Washington Commanders co-owner Dan Snyder in February 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Washington’s NFL franchise – beset by investigations against the owner, complaints of a toxic culture in the front office and constant mediocrity on the field – wrote a bounced check for a 50-50 raffle it sponsored to support its charitable foundation.
That’s a perfect metaphor for the Washington Commanders (former name a slur) under the incompetent stewardship of Daniel Snyder. As a native Washingtonian, I’ve rooted for the once-proud team for more than half a century. That devotion has become tepid since Snyder bought the franchise in 1999.
Drew Shipley, a season ticket holder, won a 50-50 raffle in September, only to learn later that the nearly $15,000 check bounced. A team spokesperson said it was “a bank error” and that money was then wired to Shipley’s account.
These accidents happen, sure. It would’ve been forgivable if Snyder’s shiny plaything hadn’t been the culprit.
His fragile ego is such that staffers at FedEx Field, the Commanders’ home stadium, told fans they couldn’t raise their “Sell the Team” signs during the Oct. 23 game. The organization said signs must be “handheld, event-related, in good taste, and cannot obstruct another guest’s view.”
For fans, maybe it was the allegations of sexual harassment against team cheerleaders and women working in the organization. Or claims of underreporting ticket sales. Or Snyder’s frequent meddling in personnel decisions, with lousy results. The franchise even faced complaints it sold peanuts from an airline that had gone out of business months earlier.
Snyder won’t go easily. An ESPN report, citing owner, league and team sources,claims Snyder has secrets on other NFL owners, making it tougher for them to force him out.
He should do himself, the rest of the league and long-suffering fans a favor and sell the team willingly.
Mr. Snyder, it would be one of the most honorable things you could do since buying the franchise.
Goodness knows all the disrepute you’ve already caused.
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