Tuesday October 3, 2023

Lawsuits Unlikely to Derail Potential Commanders Sale

  • D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed his second civil compalint against the Commanders on Thursday.
  • Legal experts say lawsuit, pending investigations can be addressed without impacting potential sale.
Washington Commanders fans watch team while inside stadium
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The Washington Commanders were hit with their second lawsuit in as many weeks, although legal experts told Front Office Sports that neither civil complaint should hold up an expected sale of the franchise. 

The consumer protection lawsuit filed on Thursday by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine alleges the team ran a “decades-long unlawful scheme” to hold back thousands worth of ticket deposits. 

The same office sued the Commanders — along with owner Dan Snyder, the NFL, and commissioner Roger Goodell — on Nov. 19 over allegations that they made efforts to impede hostile workplace investigations of the team. 

There are other ongoing investigations. 

  • The House Oversight Committee is expected to issue its final findings by year’s end. Rep. James Comer, who is in line to take over the committee, told FOS in a statement the investigation is ”over” when Republicans take over the House in January. 
  • Former SEC chair Mary Jo White, who is leading the second outside investigation into the team, has yet to issue her report. 
  • Maryland reached a settlement with the Commanders on Friday, but probes by Virginia and the Department of Justice remain ongoing.

Why It Won’t Likely Hinder Sale

“Any buyer will resolve all outstanding lawsuits and investigations before closing,” said attorney Howard Gutman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, adding that “$7 billion has the ability to fix lots of things.”

Sports attorney Daniel Wallach agreed: “Even if it’s millions, which won’t happen, a multi-billion-dollar franchise sale means that neither side will sweat the exposure.”

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