Billionaires Fighting Over Toys: Daniel Snyders Unyielding Fight to Keep the Washington Commanders

Courtesy of Alex Brandon/Associated Press

By Luke Weidenkopf 

Dan Snyder’s troubles as owner of the Washington Commanders have been present since he took ownership in 1999, but they have escalated in recent years. Other NFL owners have asked him to step down, but he consistently shuts down any movement against him. Dan Snyder will fight tooth and nail to keep the Commanders. He will never willingly let go of the team. 

In a recent ESPN article, it was detailed that Snyder has enough “dirt” on other NFL owners to “blow them up.” From Snyder’s point of view, he is the victim, and all of the other NFL owners are the aggressors. He recently stated that “[The other owners] can’t f*** with me.” He believes that he is unstoppable, and nothing will be able to tear him down. He also has no reason to fear a loss of ownership. Almost every allegation thrown at him has died in court, resulted in a fine, or  has been paid off outside of court. 

Snyder believes that the NFL is a mafia. All owners hate each other. This claim was disputed by an anonymous owner who said, “That’s not true. All owners hate Dan.” Only the latter seems to be true here. It would take a two thirds vote for Snyder to be forced to sell his team. Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, recently said “I believe that there’s merit to remove him as owner of the [Commanders]. I think it’s something that we have to review, we have to look at all the evidence and we have to be thorough going forward, but I think it’s something that has to be given serious consideration.” Snyder has not commented on this most recent interview, but all signs point to Snyder having no fear of selling his teams. He still maintains that he would not lose his, “beloved franchise without a fight that would end with multiple casualties.” 

For Snyder,  allegations began pouring in against him and the organization in May 2018, when 5 former Washington Cheerleaders accused the team of sexual harassment and intimidation on a “work trip” to Costa Rica. Ever since then it seems that every week brings a new allegation or civil suit filed against Snyder. Snyder himself has been accused of sexual harassment and assault multiple times before, but he has always leveraged his money to get out of the situation. 

With the increase of allegations there has also been an increase of legal action taken on Snyder. In July 2022, Snyder testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform to address a 20-page document that labeled allegations of financial impropriety on Snyder and his management. 

DC General Attorney General Karl Racine is also finishing a report detailing allegations of sexual assault and workplace misconduct. An anonymous source stated that, “Snyder will no longer be able to dodge subpoenas or avoid testifying or answering questions” after this report breaks headlines. 

This report is largely in response to the 40 former Commander’s employees suing the team. Lisa Banks, the head lawyer of this suit, stated on October 17 that, “We eagerly await next steps from the D.C. Attorney General—hopefully he will succeed where the NFL has failed in ensuring accountability for two decades of sexual misconduct.” 

In addition to the other investigations into the Commanders and Snyder, the NFL has launched a second investigation into the team and its workplace misconduct allegations, following the report of the House Committee. 

The drama surrounding Snyder is seemingly unending as every week more critical information comes. It seems that his ownership has spawned and created an environment that only produces evil against people.  Snyder remains in power by leveraging his money and “dirt” against others. He uses fear to get what he wants. 

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