Who’s going to carry Daniel Snyder accountable for his misdeeds?
The fan base for the woeful team he has owned since 1999, now referred to as the Washington Commanders, which has long been the Animal House of the league?
Before Thursday, Snyder had done all he could to stiff-arm the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has been investigating his team for nearly a yr. As a substitute of appearing before the committee, he dawdled, defied, and had his legal team pull out all of the delaying stops. He declined to attend the June hearing where N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell sat and faced the committee’s grilling.
Then, avoiding subpoena, he sailed off to the sunset, in a foreign country, removed from Congress’s prying reach.
Finally, on Thursday, he relented — but only halfway. Snyder agreed to talk to the committee via video conference from abroad. On his behalf, his legal team did all it could to set the parameters. He decided to speak but not under the restricting power of a subpoena, which might have made it harder to avoid truth-telling. He “volunteered” to reply the questions he was willing to reply.
And, unlike the congressional hearings we’ve seen on TV, this hourslong question-and-answer session was not be televised. Transcripts could also be provided sooner or later, nevertheless it’s unknown how much of the hearing they are going to capture and once they might be released.
Snyder, who possesses a sort of hubris that animates petty dictators, is mocking an investigation right into a culture that scarred lives. The cheerleaders Snyder and others on the team are said to have treated with misogynous contempt. The feminine marketing and events coordinator who told Congress she’d been physically harassed by Snyder. The team worker who, in accordance with the Washington Post, accused Snyder of sexual harassment and assault before reaching a $1.6 million settlement. These examples are only a sampling.
Who, exactly, is running this show? Snyder, that’s who.
Congress finds itself hamstrung by his recalcitrance and its own inability to mold private business affairs. Public shaming appears to be the committee’s only recourse.
The N.F.L. should hold Snyder to account, but Snyder is a member of the billionaire (mostly) boys club that runs the league. That group doesn’t seem overly inclined to punish considered one of its own. Banishment, forcing Snyder to sell his team, is currently a bridge too far for this privileged, insulated clique.
Investigating Snyder, attempting to pin him down and make him accept responsibility for his team’s knuckle-dragging culture and misdeeds, has turn into a theater of the absurd.
Because it engaged in an eight-month inquiry into how the Commanders and the N.F.L. handled accusations of widespread sexual harassment of the team’s female employees, the committee beckoned Snyder with a polite invitation. When it became clear he wasn’t going to cooperate and not using a push, the committee threatened to subpoena Snyder and force him to testify under oath.
Understand the N.F.L.’s Recent Controversies
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A contentious partnership. The Dallas Cowboys faced criticism after announcing a recent partnership with Black Rifle Coffee, the veteran-owned brand popular with conservatives and gun owners that sells roasts with names like “AK Espresso,” “Murdered Out” and “Silencer Smooth.” The announcement drew criticism partially for its timing, a day after a deadly mass shooting in Highland Park, Unwell.
Paying a small price. A peer-reviewed study lookig at whether arrests for accusations of violence against women hurt N.F.L. players’ careers found that such arrests have “negligible” consequences for players as a gaggle, based on a statistical evaluation of profession outcomes.
But Snyder was nowhere to be found. A minimum of not in america.
Snyder’s representatives said he was off doing long-planned business in Europe — after which had gone to Israel to memorialize the primary anniversary of his mother’s death. Ah, the old defense: “I’m too busy to simply accept your congressional subpoena.”
A Twitter account popped up on the web: The Dan Snyder Tracker followed his floating villa — the Lady S., 305 feet long, replete with IMAX theater and helipad — because it plied foreign seas.
The yacht is in Monaco!
No, it’s off the coast of Elba, Italy!
No, it’s sailing at 13.3 knots and Pisa, Italy!
Was he even on his massive yacht because it floated across the Mediterranean?
Had he taken his private plane to Europe?
What a difficult little bit of shenanigans. But how can anyone be surprised? Washington’s owner hardly has a repute as a stand-up guy swathed in rectitude.
Gallons of ink have been spilled and digital space used to catalog the off-field problems and allegations which have plagued Washington’s football team under Snyder.
Commanders executives, and Snyder himself, have been accused of rampant sexual harassment of female employees, to say nothing of economic impropriety and verbal abuse. The claims span 18 of the 23 years Snyder has owned the team.
In his June testimony before the committee, Goodell — who has ordered a second investigation into the Commanders — said Snyder had already been held accountable after the primary. The owner agreed to avoid the team’s every day operations for a time and the team paid a record $10 million to the league in penalties.
What a scam.
Snyder got a pleasant vacation — though it’s unclear if he’ll be back to meddling within the team’s day-to-day affairs now that training camp has begun.
And does Goodell truthfully think Snyder, who is claimed to be value $40 billion, will sweat over $10 million? To him, $10 million doesn’t amount to a lot as a wrist slap. It’s not even a bite from a flea.
Goodell and the N.F.L. seem content with selling the narrative that every one is well and good in Washington now. Snyder’s team, in spite of everything, has hired a recent, diverse, well-respected staff helmed by President Jason Wright and a professional’s pro of a coach, Ron Rivera.
But who writes the checks for the brand new hires? Snyder. Everyone employed in that operation toils away at his bidding.
Goodell’s narrative carries no water. The congressional committee made public last month that it had found Snyder interfered with the N.F.L.’s investigation through a campaign of witness intimidation. Snyder’s adjutants compiled a dossier of those that shared claims of harassment against the Commanders with the press.
So, we’re all to imagine the N.F.L. story line: This shouldn’t be your father’s Washington football team. Say it enough times, and possibly you’ll be tricked into believing it.
Forcing Snyder to sell can be the one penalty with teeth. But Goodell has quickly reminded us that he couldn’t make such a move alone. “I don’t have the authority,” he told Congress in June.
Who does? The opposite owners. To remove Snyder, 75 percent of them would must vote for it. The owners know Snyder would tangle the N.F.L. with lawsuits from here to eternity. You may be certain many don’t want the tables reversed and probing glare placed on them and their business practices.
On and on goes the spectacle. Snyder, Animal House president, continues to be capable of make everyone around him respond and react to his whims. Thursday, it was the congressional committee.
Will anyone have the nerve to step up and stop this sordid show?