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Why Dan Snyder’s Ouster as Commanders Owner Will Take Time

  • Repeated controversies have reportedly led owners to see if there are enough votes to remove Snyder.
  • Snyder's alleged misconduct is currently under review by Congress and an outside NFL investigation.
Snyder Removal
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dan Snyder’s turbulent tenure as owner of the Washington Commanders could be in danger, although sources told Front Office Sports a move to remove Snyder doesn’t appear to be imminent. 

It takes 24 owners to remove a fellow owner, the same 75% threshold needed to approve the purchase of a franchise. Owners are “counting votes” to see if there’s enough among the 31 other franchises to push Snyder out, USA Today reported over the weekend. 

One ownership source told FOS that while frustration over Snyder’s many controversies remains high, there’s unlikely to be a vote before an ongoing outside investigation headed by former SEC chair Mary Jo White into the latest allegations against Snyder and the Commanders is completed. 

“They haven’t created a great record yet to oust Snyder,” the source told FOS. 

A congressional investigation that began in October has led to the latest trouble for Snyder, who purchased the Commanders for $800 million in 1999.

The House Oversight Committee held a roundtable hearing in February where former cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston testified that Snyder invited her to a networking event where he placed his hand on her thigh under a table. Later in the evening, Johnston alleged Snyder “aggressively pushed” her toward his limo. 

Snyder called Johnston’s allegations “outright lies.”

Then came the allegations that the Commanders held back ticket revenue that, under NFL bylaws, is supposed to be shared with the league. In April, days after FOS reported on the alleged scheme, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that laid out “troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct” by the Commanders. 

Snyder’s legal team called the allegations in the House Oversight’s Committee’s letter to the FTC “uncorroborated and implausible.” 

White is investigating both the allegations made by Johnston along with alleged financial improprieties. 

A Commanders spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment for this story. The NFL also did not provide comment. 

While financial issues or scandals ultimately forced previous owners Jerry Richardson (Panthers), Edward DeBartolo Jr. (49ers), Leonard Tose (Eagles), and Harry Wismer (Titans/Jets) out, no owner in the modern NFL has been voted out — and owners are hesitant to set a precedent without thorough accounting of the alleged misconduct. That didn’t happen with the first outside investigation led by former assistant U.S. attorney Beth Wilkinson that concluded last July. 

“There’s no consensus on how to handle Snyder,” one owner told FOS. 

While the Commanders were fined $10 million and Wilkinson laid out a series of recommendations to address the several allegations that the Commanders fostered a hostile workplace environment, the NFL surprisingly didn’t ask Wilkinson to submit a written report. 

Owners raised concerns at the NFL’s annual meeting in March over the lack of transparency into Sndyer’s affairs due to the lack of a written report in the Wilkinson investigation, USA Today reported. 

“There’s growing frustration about the Washington situation and not over one issue, but over how much smoke there is,” an unnamed team owner told the newspaper. “I think everybody’s getting tired of it.”

That echoes what FOS reported in March.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that White will provide a written report. There’s no timetable when her investigation will conclude. 

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