Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is refiling his lawsuit against Washington City Paper today, and he has taken to the pages of the Washington Post to explain why.
In an op-ed titled “Why I am suing Washington City Paper,” Snyder defends himself against charges that he’s using his wealth to bully a newspaper and its writer, and he says that he understands that his role as owner of the Redskins means he’s going to take criticism.
“I am not thin-skinned about personal criticism,” Snyder writes. “I consider myself very fortunate to own the Redskins. Criticism comes with the territory and I respect it. I have never sued people who publish critical opinions of me, nor have I previously sued any news organization.
“I understand the anger people feel toward me when the Redskins have a losing season or when we sign a veteran player who does not meet expectations. I have been a Redskins fan all my life, and I get angry, too, including at myself. I am the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes as an owner. I hope I’ve learned from them. All I want is for the Redskins to win!”
Where Snyder says the City Paper crossed the line was “a clear factual assertion that I am guilty of forgery, a serious crime that goes directly to the heart of my reputation — as a businessman, marketer and entrepreneur. It is false.”
Indeed, the City Paper article, titled “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” includes a statement that Snyder “got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder Communications.”
The forgery accusation is one that the same City Paper writer, Dave McKenna, had written about previously. In 2009 McKenna wrote that “investigators for the State of Florida found that Snyder ‘forged the signatures of hundreds of customers on letters of authorizations purporting to authorize a change of customer’s resubscribed interxchange carrier.’”
However, the State of Florida document that McKenna cites is clearly referring to Snyder Communications, the company Dan Snyder and his sister founded. Nothing in the document suggests that Dan Snyder personally had anything to do with forgery.
Washington City Paper‘s publisher has acknowledged that Snyder didn’t engage in forgery, writing, “we have no reason to believe he personally did any such thing.”
Snyder writes in today’s op-ed that he isn’t looking to extract money from the City Paper, but he is looking to extract an apology.
“If the publisher has ‘no reason to believe’ that ‘Dan Snyder got caught forging names,’ then why not retract the words that explicitly said I was a forger and simply apologize?” Snyder writes.
But no apology has been offered, and so Snyder is heading to court.