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Dan Snyder reportedly used “Blackmail PowerPoint” to lessen initial NFL punishment

Wednesday’s lengthy article from ESPN regarding the connection of the Jon Gruden emails to the downfall of Daniel Snyder included an important disclosure regarding the events that preceded the initial punishment imposed by the league on July 1, 2021.

Per the ESPN article, a June 2021 meeting between Snyder’s lawyers and select owners and executives included a series of slides.

“What was presented was not a defense against any of [attorney Beth] Wilkinson’s findings made against Snyder; it was a series of screenshots of potentially embarrassing emails and texts from several top league executives, including [Commissioner Roger] Goodell’s top lieutenant, [Jeff] Pash,” the article explains. “The rationale, according to a source with firsthand knowledge, was to argue the hypocrisy of league officials judging Snyder. The tactics were so ruthless that some attorneys felt uncomfortable. Although none of the content was sexist, anti-gay or graphic, the signal was clear: If Goodell didn’t do what Snyder wanted in terms of handling the Wilkinson report and punishment, these emails and texts would be leaked.”

The presentation, according to ESPN, became known in league circles as the “Blackmail PowerPoint.”

Per the ESPN article, it worked: “A few top NFL executives had persuaded Goodell to give Snyder a stiff and lengthy punishment. But as the time for announcing Snyder’s punishment neared, Goodell began to reconsider.”

Ultimately, the league buried the Wilkinson report and announced the sanctions on July 1, 2021, on a Thursday afternoon before an extended Fourth of July weekend. The word “suspension” was never used.

Now that Snyder is being pushed out, it remains to be seen whether someone will eventually leak any of the information from the so-called “Blackmail PowerPoint” to the media. Would it surprise anyone if that became Snyder’s parting gift for the league?