Ugh Photo: AP
I don’t want to go down a whole rabbit hole on company personality, but team owners fill their NFL franchises with personalities. The Dallas Cowboys exude Jerry Jones’ swashbuckling oilman bravado, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the Rooney family’s durability and expertise ingrained in their DNA, and the Los Angeles Rams operate like a thriving Fortune 500 company amassing lucrative contracts that try to repel teams.
One of the reasons the Washington Re–, Footba–, errr.. Commanders have been let down by their fanbase over the past decade has had nothing to do with the name change or compiling losses and aimless roster building or staff revolving door . Those are only marginal reasons why fan interest has waned over the past decade.
Organizationally, the commanders present themselves as damned and losers. After a decade of Dan Snyder’s influence, his selfish tendencies, spiteful personality, and lascivious, unprofessional demeanor had permeated and seeped down from the C-suite. From Bruce Allen’s bigoted emails to former radio host Larry Michael’s racy cheerleading video scandal, FBI raids, legal counsel’s shenanigans, Dan Snyder’s myriad legal woes, Washington is awash with incompetence and nitwits.
On Wednesday night, we witnessed the growing reach of Snyder’s narcissism. While team owners run organizations for profit, they at least appear to care about how they’re perceived in the community, the Commanders are above all obedient to Snyder’s ego, even if it means taming the aforementioned DC community and its players alienate.
In response to a report that DC Attorney General Karl Racine would make a major announcement at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Commanders released one of the most despicable self-serving public relations statements in recent history. The commanders attempted to use Brian Robinson’s gunfight to “What About Chicago,” their own city’s AG, and shot themselves in the foot in the process.
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“Less than three months ago, a 23-year-old player on our team was shot multiple times in broad daylight,” the statement began. “Despite the out of control violent crime in DC, the Washington Commanders first learned on Twitter today that the DC Attorney General will be holding a press conference tomorrow to make ‘an important announcement’ related to the organization.”
Worse than confusing her statement that one of the DC Metropolitan Police’s jobs in solving violent crimes with that of the Attorney General, the commanders insulted law enforcement with their salty gossip. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the commanders hired real facsimiles for it Bob Loblaw and Saul Goodman. The only thing left for this organization to do is throw hot grease at its season ticket holders, fans, the media, and anyone else who threatens Snyder’s immunity with consequences.
PR serves to improve the public image. The commanders operate like Trump’s party. The people and staff of the organization stand behind the leader. Team president Jason Wright — get out while you can — tried to pin the blame on legal counsel, highlighting another department that Snyder set on fire. But the statement is self-evident for the commanders.
We have become accustomed to the Trumpian defiance of commanders in response to every request that we forget how uniquely awful this organization is. However, summonsing rookie Brian Robinson to be shot angered the players and Robinson’s agents.
Washington’s response makes sense after Thursday’s press conference, where AG Racine announced that his office would file a civil lawsuit against Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the DC Consumer Protection Act.
From the attorneys to the C-suite, Snyder’s Stercorarius touch has rendered commanders radioactive. It’s almost unheard of for attorney generals to swarm around an entire organization. The DC AG suit is just the latest dud in the corner of the room, which players now have to ignore to focus on the football.
FedEx Field likely has a separate office just for Snyder’s subpoenas, and that lawsuit is thrown onto a myriad of other investigations.
According to Racine, there will be subpoenas and “testimony is not taking place on a yacht,” which was a direct shot at Snyder’s attempt to avoid a congressional subpoena by hiding on his $200 million ocean liner with luxury seats.
For clarification, DC AG’s lawsuit is distinct from the criminal investigation by US Attorney in the Eastern District. There are multiple threats to Snyder’s team. This lawsuit was filed on the basis that the commanders violated the DC Consumer Protection Act, which covers any material misstatement by a retailer that could affect consumers in the District of Columbia.
According to Racine, Snyder’s repugnant behavior, his penchant for cover-ups and the NFL’s cooperation in covering up Snyder’s behavior, and his attempts to silence witnesses violate the DCCPA. The civil charges may seem minor, but the NFL’s involvement in Racine’s lawsuit is the latest volume in a tome by Goodell and owners answering for Snyder. (Commanders’ attorneys issued a statement, and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league denies the allegations.) Enough has to eventually become enough. Even US Attorney General Merrick Garland has the Commanders’ potential financial misconduct in his DOJ’s sights. The walls are closing in on Snyder, it just matters what gets him first.