A troubling pattern of workplace toxicity has emerged around Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, according to multiple recent reports.
Former Cardinals COO Ron Minegar describes a “deep culture problem” within the organization that “emanates from one source,” Bidwill, as he told ESPN in a recent exposé.
“Your negativity sucks the life out of the entire process and erodes our collective resolve to work our asses off for you and this franchise,” Minegar wrote in a letter to Bidwill. “It’s not just me — everyone in this building is impacted by your constant negativity.”
Minegar left the team in January 2020 — five months after he was arrested for drunk driving. Bidwill subsequently berated him in front of most of the organization’s front-office staff.
In a similar investigative piece published in October, The Athletic described an internal survey circulated in 2019 where employees “tore Michael Bidwill to shreds” for his erratic behavior in and around Arizona’s front office. However, few changes reportedly came as a result of the survey.
In a statement to ESPN, Bidwill said the Cardinals have “worked hard over the last several years to improve our culture across the board.”
“We have more to do and, as I have said to every member of the Cardinals organization, that includes my own work to grow and improve as a leader,” Bidwill continued.
The recent backlash builds upon an arbitration claim filed in April in which former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough accused Bidwill of cheating, discrimination, and harassment.
McDonough said Bidwill attempted to illegally contact former GM Steve Keim using burner phones while he was on a five-week suspension for DUI. Additionally, McDonough accused Bidwill of berating two pregnant employees, as well as a Black employee, in a “racially charged manner.” The Cardinals denied these claims.
Bidwill represents the third generation of his family to own the Cardinals. Michael’s grandfather, Charles Bidwill, purchased the team when it was still located in Chicago in 1933 and then passed ownership to his son, Bill. Michael took over ownership of the team when his father died in 2019.