John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images
If Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder is going to sell the team, he reportedly wants assurances from the NFL and other team owners that he will not face future legal liability.
According to Mark Maske, Nicki Jhabvala and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, Snyder and attorneys “have demanded” such indemnification and could sue if it is not granted. Yet such demands “have angered some owners and renewed discussion about the possibility of taking a vote to remove him from ownership of the Commanders.”
One source said the owners see such efforts as “ridiculous” and “absurd” and think Snyder should be the one providing them legal indemnification as his organization continues to face investigations.
This comes after Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr. and Tisha Thompson of ESPN reported in October that Snyder paid for investigators to dig into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other team owners and gathered enough information to “blow up” some of his colleagues.
The ESPN report noted Snyder said privately, “They can’t f–k with me.”
Snyder announced in November he retained Bank of America Securities to help explore a potential sale of the team, yet one of the sources in the Washington Post report said other owners would “definitely” plan on a vote to remove him if such a sale does not happen.
The vote would require at least three-quarters of the owners to support his removal.
The Washington Post report also said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is seen as something of an ally for Snyder among the league and is “attempting to broker a peace by which Snyder would sell the Commanders and leave the NFL without further acrimony.”
Such efforts are notable because the indemnification demand “angered” Goodell and has the league ready to fight in court if needed even if it would prefer a sale to avoid such a scenario.
As for the potential sale of the team, Maske, Jhabvala and Clarke reported Snyder has “rebuffed every effort” by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as an interested buyer. Snyder has done so “out of spite” because Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has published a number of articles about the Commanders’ toxic workplace environment.
Attorney Beth Wilkinson’s investigation into the franchise determined there was a culture of sexual harassment, bullying and misconduct under Snyder.
That investigation led to a $10 million fine for the team and forced Snyder to relinquish day-to-day control to his wife, Tanya.
Yet there is another ongoing investigation being conducted by attorney Mary Jo White, and the Washington Post reported Snyder wants the eventual findings to be kept confidential even though the league has already said they will be publicly released.
The ongoing investigation started in February 2022 after Tiffani Johnston, who is a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the Commanders, said Snyder sexually harassed her, per the Washington Post.
Van Natta Jr. reported in November 2022 that Snyder’s “alleged sexual assault of a woman on his plane in April 2009” is also part of White’s investigation.