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What a surprise. The last NFL franchise to integrate — the team named after a racial slur through 2020 — is lazy. So rotten that Congress decided to dig in all the way to see how far it spreads and found that it is visible once the skin is removed and reaches to the core of the noxious fruit that the Washington Commanders are .
In a 78-page report, Congress detailed the despicable work Daniel Snyder has done as franchise owner and also how the NFL failed to take enough steps to thwart his evil reign. The details are rough, but a paragraph on the penultimate page perfectly sums up the NFL’s disgusting dysfunction in the nation’s capital:
“The findings of the committee’s investigation, as set forth in this report, are clear: Sexual harassment, bullying and other toxic behaviors permeated the Washington Commanders workplace and were perpetuated by a culture of fear instituted by the team’s owner . The NFL was aware through the investigation conducted by Ms. Wilkinson that Mr. Snyder and other team leaders not only could not stop this wrongdoing, but were involved in it themselves. The League also knew that Mr. Snyder and the Commanders organization used a variety of tactics to intimidate, monitor and pay whistleblowers and to influence and obstruct the work of Ms. Wilkinson. Rather than seek true accountability, the NFL has aligned its legal interests with those of Mr. Snyder, failed to curb his abusive tactics, and buried the investigation’s findings.”
Snyder did what he wanted, when he wanted, with no regard for the humanity of the organization’s female employees. This report is littered with people who – without anonymity – describe the blatant misconduct of Snyder and others within the organization.
It’s bad enough that Snyder mismanaged the franchise on the field. A franchise that won three Super Bowls in the 20 years prior to its purchase has won two playoff games in the 23 years since. Much of the fan base that used to literally shake RFK Stadium with their excitement has been stripped of all passion by Snyder. It has been 15 years since the tragic death of Sean Taylor, and the only credit the franchise deserves is the defense’s decision to go 10-man on the first play of their first game without him. Any other effort was a disgrace.
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Snyder is said to be selling the franchise soon. Better late than never, but it took way too long. It took until he was pressured by the people who owned the stadium naming rights to finally change the franchise’s racist nickname. Now in 2022, we find out in a Congressional filing that he has hired private investigators to show up in people’s homes and try to intimidate them into speaking out against him.
His attorney Jerry Jones and the Republican Party can scream all they want that this investigation is a leftist smear campaign, but the congressional committee spoke to over 150 people. The conclusion they reached is that the New York Times, Washington Post, and others’ reporting was accurate.
The Washington NFL franchise’s workplace was toxic during Snyder’s tenure as owner, and not enough was done to stop it. The NFL may have some blame for not acting quickly or decisively enough to try to stop this madness, but Snyder is the main problem here.
For more than two decades, Snyder has operated this franchise with little regard for decency. He should have been forced to sell his franchise years ago. The sooner he is out of the sport the better, but his removal cannot undo the damage he has done to people and to the franchise’s reputation as well.