Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder secured full control over his team after nearly a year of drama with the club’s minority stakeholders. While that battle is behind him. one of the NFL’s most recognized owners could soon have more trouble on his plate.
Snyder agreed to a deal to buy out the remaining 40% stake in the WFT from Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Robert Rothman. He paid them $950 million for the remaining shares in the team, receiving a $450 million debt waiver from the league, to ensure that he would have full ownership of the WFT.
It was the end result of a nearly year-long battle between Snyder and the club’s former minority stakeholders.
Smith, CEO of FedEx, joined numerous investors who threatened to pull their money if Snyder didn’t change the team’s name in 2020. Eventually, after years of refusing to change it, he relented. As this was going on, Smith, Schar and Rothman were exploring avenues to sell their shares of the team. They ultimately reached agreements with a buyer, arranging to sell their collective 40% stake in the team for $900 million. However, Snyder interfered by attempting to block the sale and there it resulted in a suit in the U.S. District Court.
Snyder previously accused them of extortion, suggesting they were responsible for the allegations that launched the NFL’s investigation into the organization’s toxic culture under Snyder. Which, is now where he could face looming trouble.
Latest on NFL’s investigation into allegations against Daniel Snyder
The Washington Post first released a story in July 2016, reporting on a toxic culture with numerous cases of sexual harassment under Snyder’s watch.
More than two dozen women came forward detailing instances of unwelcome overtures, sexual comments, verbal abuse and constant sexual harassment within the organization. Snyder released a statement shortly after the news came out and the team has been conducting its own investigation.
The New York Times spoke to several of the team’s former cheerleaders in 2018, detailing multiple instances of sexual misconduct, harassment and intimidation.
As time went on, even more allegations emerged. The team’s senior vice president Larry Michael was accused of ordering the production of inappropriate videos, featuring the cheerleaders in compromising situations with lewd outtakes, that were kept without consent and given to Snyder.
Specific accusations also came out against the team’s now-full owner. The team’s former director of the cheerleading squad, Donald Wells, accused Snyder of threatening him, and the story further backed up complaints about a problematic culture Snyder allowed to happen. The NFL has been conducting its own investigation, and while it isn’t known when the league will release its findings, there are signs of things getting worse for Snyder.
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, Snyder could be facing significant league sanctions from the NFL based on its findings from the inquiry. While King doesn’t believe Snyder would be forced to sell the team, it may ultimately depend on the severity of issues the NFL discovers.
The NFL has been working to improve its image in recent years and the alarming allegations against how the Washington Football Team treated women for years put the league under an even bigger microscope. Even if Snyder isn’t forced to sell the team, he could be facing staggering fines and additional penalties that would send a message across the league.