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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dan Snyder, NFL’s Diversity Efforts in Spotlight at League Meetings

  • The future of the Commanders and Snyder remains unsettled as meetings begin outside Dallas.
  • Sessions for the NFL's Front Office Accelerator Program kick off on Tuesday.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder stands next to former team President Bruce Allen
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

IRVING, Texas — NFL owners will begin filtering into a high-end hotel for the league’s quarterly meetings on Tuesday.

While Tuesday will focus more on the league’s front office diversity initiative, one carryover topic from the last meeting in October will be asked by reporters and likely discussed behind closed doors: the Washington Commanders and the future of owner Dan Snyder. 

There have been some developments in the three months since Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there was “merit” to removing Snyder

  • Snyder announced on Nov. 2 he tapped Bank of America “to consider potential transactions,” including a potential sale of the team. While league insiders expect Snyder to sell at least a controlling interest, FOS reported last week that Snyder has recently considered only offloading 20% or less of the club he purchased in 1999. 
  • The Commanders were sued — twice — by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine last month. Snyder, the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell were listed as defendants in the first lawsuit over Snyder’s alleged efforts to obstruct the league’s first outside investigation of the team. The second lawsuit alleged the Commanders used a “decades-long unlawful scheme” to hold back ticket deposits from fans. 
  • The House Oversight Committee released its final report of its investigation to the team on Thursday. The report stated that Snyder gave “misleading testimony” during his deposition and highlighted the use of private investigators “even after the league instructed him to stop “investigating any of these matters.”

Days before the last league meeting in New York, ESPN dropped a report that alleged Snyder had gathered “dirt” on at least six owners, including Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. 

This time, they have the House Oversight Committee’s 79-page report and another by the GOP side of the committee that was 21 pages, plus more than 100 pages of exhibits to sift through. 

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The deposition of former Commanders President Bruce Allen was among the most notable parts of Congress’ investigation. The transcript of Allen’s September deposition, which spanned more than 10 hours, included talk about how his emails came to be published in October 2021. These exchanges led to the resignation of Jon Gruden as the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach and drew renewed scrutiny on Snyder. 

Allen relayed a conversation with NFL counsel Lisa Friel right before The Wall Street Journal dropped the first story that included the use of a racial trope in reference to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, who is Black. 

“We didn’t do it at the league office,” Allen said Friel told him. “It came out of their side.

“She’s pointing a finger at the team – unless there’s another group who has my emails who I don’t know.”

The NFL and the Commanders have denied being the source of the leaked emails. 

Diversity Push

Before the meetings kick into full gear on Wednesday, the league’s front-office diversity initiative will be in the spotlight on Tuesday. 

Reps from all 32 clubs will interact with more than 30 general manager prospects in a series of sessions as part of an effort to identify and hire women and people of color for leadership positions.  

“Club owners and executives are focused on building on the successful momentum of our Coach and Front Office Accelerator Program by continuing to engage with and develop this group of talented men and women,” Goodell said in a statement.

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