Will Daniel Snyder Be Forced To Sell The Washington Commanders?

Story posted March 1, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Nolan Wick

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has found himself in controversy once again.

This time, the NFL has appointed Mary Jo White to investigate Snyder after he was accused of sexual misconduct by Tiffani Johnston, a former employee, during a congressional roundtable on Feb. 3.

White has previously investigated the likes of Jerry Richardson and Urban Meyer.

This is the second time in recent years that Snyder or his team have been investigated. The NFL appointed Beth Wilkinson to investigate the team’s workplace culture after The Washington Post reported rampant sexual harassment throughout the organization in July 2020.

Wilkinson’s investigation, which Snyder reportedly attempted to obstruct, resulted in a $10-million fine against Washington and an announcement that Snyder’s wife, Tanya, would take over day-to-day operations.

Wilkinson’s final report was never released to the public, which has become a source of controversy and speculation. It recently came out that the NFL and Snyder privately agreed that both sides would need to consent to the report being released.

To fuel speculation even more, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported on Super Bowl Sunday that the final report recommended that Snyder be forced to sell the team. Florio also noted that, for the first time ever, “there is a sense among ownership that the time may have come,” for Snyder to sell.

All signs point to something very bad about Snyder being hidden from the public. Congress is actively pursuing the findings from the investigation, which is bad news for Snyder.

Overall, it doesn’t look good for Snyder. He’s been despised for years in the Washington area and around sports. The future of his ownership will come down to the outcome of the White investigation, as well as whether or not the Wilkinson report gets released. Either one, though particularly the latter, could seriously doom him.

However, there’s probably no more than a 50 percent chance as of today that Snyder gets removed unless more bad information comes out, which it very well could. Still, it is a difficult path to go down.

The process of removing an owner involves three-fourths of the other NFL owners voting him out. It could be hard to find a majority of votes from other owners who could have similar skeletons in the closet, given the Jerry Richardson situation, for example.

In contrast to Richardson, who announced he would sell the team soon after the allegations came out, it would likely be even more difficult to get Snyder to go. Given Snyder’s negative reputation, it would be hard to imagine that he would not make life difficult for the rest of the league in the process. It is not yet known whether or not the league is willing to take that risk with Snyder.

The NFL has put up with Snyder for decades and protected him at all costs despite frequent controversy and embarrassment. Now that Congress is involved and a negative sentiment towards Snyder appears to be echoing around the league, the chance may be bigger now than it has ever been before that the walls are closing in on him.


Nolan Wick is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact him, email nhw5046@psu.edu.