Should the NFL rid itself of Daniel Snyder?
The NFL continues to take body blows over the chronic misconduct of the Washington Football Team on Daniel Snyder’s watch and the league’s bizarre handling of the investigation. It’s fair to wonder whether the league will realize that the easiest solution to its current problems is to simply rid itself of Snyder, once and for all.
When the conclusions regarding the WFT investigation first emerged, with zero facts that supported them disclosed, it became obvious that the NFL was protecting not Snyder but the rest of the owners. If those facts were to come out (and they still could), it will be as untenable for Snyder to continue as the owner of the Washington Football Team as it was for Jon Gruden to continue as the coach of the Raiders. And then a roadmap will be available for any current or former employees of other teams who may want to make accusations that become formal allegations that become a critical mass of contentions that spark an independent inquiry and then that owner may end up being forced to sell, too, if the facts come to light.
The best protection against that outcome would have been to simply push Snyder out of the club. Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, in a biting, insightful, and generally brilliant column, shows that the NFL is getting what it deserves for not giving Snyder what he has long deserved.
With Congress on the case, it may be too late for the NFL to quietly throw Snyder overboard -- even if it could. (He’d surely fight, tooth and nail, any effort to oust him.) While publication of certain facts relating to the investigation could be enough to create sufficient public outcry to force a sale, the precedent that could bring down other owners would be established and irreversible.
Plenty of owners are likely wishing they’d gotten rid of Snyder, or had never let him join Club Oligarch in the first place. As explained by Albert Breer of SI.com, Tanya Snyder (who is running the team during her husband’s “voluntary” indefinite exile) spoke to the other owners this week, and one person who heard her comments called them “tone deaf.” Two other owners, per Breer, agreed with that assessment.
And while Tanya Snyder insisted that neither she nor Dan Snyder leaked the emails, Jenkins points out that Snyder’s international crusade to inflict judicial vengeance for a false story that linked Snyder to Jeffrey Epstein placed some of those emails into the public record. Although a separate and subsequent leak seemed to trigger the downfall of Gruden, it arguably would have become much easier to justify leaking emails that already are hiding in plain sight.
Per Breer, Tanya Snyder also claimed that Daniel Snyder doesn’t have an email account. While that, if true, would suggest that the trove of 650,000 secret Bruce Allen emails includes no messages to or from Snyder, it’s irrelevant to whether Snyder or someone working on his behalf leaked either the Gruden emails or the Bruce Allen-Jeff Pash messages, or both.