Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, who has been accused of fostering a ‘toxic workplace’ in the NFL franchise, considering a sale of the team.
Through a team statement on Wednesday, Snyder and his wife, Tanya, announced that they had hired Bank of America Securities “to consider potential transactions.”
The move comes months after a House oversight committee investigating the Commanders owner accused him of fostering a ‘toxic workplace’ and conducting a ‘shadow investigation to target his accusers, shift blame others and influence the NFL’s own internal review.
An internal investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson last year resulted in the NFL fining commanders $10 million and Snyder handing over control of the franchise’s day-to-day operations to his wife. Snyder denied the charges.
The Commanders’ statement on Wednesday reads: “Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Commanders announced today that they have hired BofA Securities to consider potential transactions. The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to bring the best product to the field and continue the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.
Lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former employees accusing Snyder of workplace wrongdoings, in a statement called the possible sale “a good development for the team, its former and current employees and its many fans”.
“We’ll have to see how this plays out, but obviously this could be a big step towards healing and closure for the many brave women and men who have come forward,” the lawyers said.
Last month, Snyder denied allegations that he hired private investigators to investigate his NFL counterparts, as well as league commissioner Roger Goodell.
The denial came in response to an ESPN report that cited multiple unnamed owners and league and team sources and said the Commanders owner “has instructed his law firms to hire private investigators to investigate other owners – and Goodell”.
In a letter sent to NFL owners, Snyder said the allegation was “demonstrably false and intended to erode the trust and goodwill among owners that I take very seriously.”
ESPN alleged that current and former team executives said Snyder “is still much more involved in running the club than most realize”, adding that he lobbied to acquire quarterback Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis 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’ .
Goodell testified before the congressional panel in June and said the culture of commanding officers has been “not only unprofessional, but toxic for far too long.”
But the commissioner argued that the commanders’ workplace had changed for the better and that Snyder “faced unprecedented discipline”, including the fine.
Goodell said Snyder hasn’t attended league or committee meetings in the past year, and noted that COs have put in “an entirely new, highly skilled and diverse leadership team” and “revamped” their cheerleading program and leadership with a co-ed dance crew.