Commanders Attorney: Ticket Scheme Accuser ‘Should Bring a Defamation Suit’

    • The Commanders and a lawyer representing a former team employee trade statements in aftermath of FOS exclusive.
    • Former employee's attorney requested the team let him out of 'contractual constraints that prevent him from speaking.'

A lawyer representing the Washington Commanders clapped back over claims that the team defamed the former ticket employee who gave information to the House Oversight Committee. 

Jason Friedman, who was named in a statement sent by his attorney to Front Office Sports on Monday, alleged to congressional investigators that the Commanders ran a ticketing scheme in which the team held back ticket revenue from the league. 

Friedman wasn’t identified by FOS in Saturday’s exclusive on the allegations, although he was named in a story published by The Athletic on Monday. 

“The Commanders did not reference Mr. Friedman — or anyone else — by name in their statement,” said Joseph Tacopina, one of the attorneys representing the Commanders. “However, if Mr. Friedman believes he has been defamed, he should bring a defamation suit.  The Commanders will gladly accept service and vigorously defend any such claim.” 

Tuesday’s statement follows dueling news releases Monday.

The first was from the Commanders: “There has been absolutely no withholding of ticket revenue at any time by the Commanders. Those revenues are subject to independent audits by multiple parties. Anyone who offered testimony suggesting a withholding of revenue has committed perjury, plain and simple.”

Attorney Lisa Banks, who represents Friedman along with more than 40 former employees of the Commanders responded shortly after with a news release of her own.

“The Washington Commanders just released a statement to members of the media. In that statement, they defamed my client, Jason Friedman, who came forward at the request of the Congressional Oversight Committee and testified truthfully, with evidence,” Banks said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Friedman is unable to defend himself publicly due to contractual constraints that prevent him from speaking freely. He would be happy to recount his testimony if Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders allow him to do so. I will await their response.”

FOS asked a Commanders spokesperson if the team would allow Friedman out of his contractual restraints. The team hasn’t responded.

It’s common in pro sports for employees to be bound by non-disclosure agreements, and those agreements are often part of severance packages when employees leave a team.