Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has denied allegations that he hired private investigators to investigate his NFL counterparts, as well as league commissioner Roger Goodell.
Last week, ESPN, citing several unnamed owners and league and team sources, reported that the Commanders owner “has instructed his law firms to hire private investigators to investigate other owners – and Goodell”.
In a letter sent to all other NFL owners, Snyder said: “This is patently untrue and intended to erode the trust and goodwill between owners which I take very seriously. I have never hired a private investigator to investigate a landlord or the commissioner. I have never asked or authorized my lawyers to hire a private investigator on my behalf for such purposes. And I never would.
“Although we are all fierce competitors on the field, we are part of this organization because we love football, our teams and our fans. Having the privilege of owning a franchise in American sports is something I know that “None of us take it for granted. Falsehoods and lies spread about any of our organizations harm our League, our players and our fans, and we simply cannot leave them unchallenged.
Last year, after an internal investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson, the NFL fined the team $10 million and Snyder handed control of the day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife, Tanya Snyder. . The NFL, however, declined to release its findings, triggering a House Oversight Committee review in October.
Despite the change, ESPN alleges that current and former team executives say Snyder “is still much more involved in running the club than most realize,” adding that he lobbied to acquire the quarterback- back Carson Wentz of the Colts while sources questioned whether team president Jason Wright, the first black man in NFL history to hold that title, “has any real authority to fix the team.”
Snyder denied the ESPN report’s allegations, stating in the letter, “It is especially shameful for ESPN to diminish the very real accomplishments of our Chairman Jason Wright, who ESPN says was placed in Commanders by the League and has never not the power to make real change. I know you know that’s wrong. Unfortunately, ESPN ignored our efforts to correct the many lies in their article before it was published.
Following the Commanders’ 12-7 win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, Washington head coach Ron Rivera also denied the reports, saying he was behind the decision to sign Wentz.
“Everyone keeps saying I wanted nothing to do with Carson, well, bullshit,” Rivera said.
“I’m the fucking guy that pulled out the sheets of paper, looked at the scans, looked at the tape… when we were in Indianapolis, OK? And that’s what pisses me off, because the young man doesn’t deserve to have this all the time.
An ESPN spokesperson told CNN in a statement that the company stands by its reporting.
The NFL hired former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Jo White earlier this year to investigate workplace misconduct against Snyder.