Lawyers for former WFT employees criticize approval of Daniel Snyder’s purchase

Getty Images

The decision of the NFL’s owners to allow Daniel Snyder to purchase the minority interest in the Washington Football Team has been interpreted as a sign that the league will not be forcing Snyder to sell. Lawyers representing those who have made claims of sexual harassment and related misconduct against the organization during Snyder’s tenure have complained about the outcome.

According to Matthew Paras of the Washington Times, attorneys representing women accusing Snyder’s team of workplace wrongdoing sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell after the owners, in a 32-0 vote, agreed to let Snyder exceed the debt limit to borrow enough money to buy 40.5 percent of the team for nearly $900 million.

The letter cites the reported recommendation (apparently not final when leaked) from attorney Beth Wilkinson that Snyder be required to sell the team.

“We are shocked that you have not only ignored that recommendation, but have instead facilitated an arrangement that leaves Mr. Snyder in a stronger ownership position than before,” the letter explains. “Today’s actions by the NFL and its owners give everyone great concern that your past statements characterizing the conduct of the organization as ‘abhorrent’ were just hollow and meaningless words to appease those who have bravely stepped forward and spoken up.”

From the moment the controversy first emerged, there’s never been a sense that the league will take extreme action against Snyder. It surely would involve a protracted legal fight. Perhaps more importantly, it would represent a precedent that eventually could be applied against other owners who find themselves the target of workplace allegations that they regard, rightly or wrongly, as baseless.

Frankly, the “it could be me next” mindset surely is a factor, at some level, in the other owners favoring a fine or maybe a suspension over a forced sale. Once the bridge of an involuntary surrender of the franchise is crossed, it can’t be uncrossed.

Whether the owners would force a sale represents a far different question than whether they should. Regardless, when the decision is being made only by persons who would then potentially face the same fate at some vague and undefined point in the future, it’s easy to understand why they’re unwilling to press that specific button.

27 responses to “Lawyers for former WFT employees criticize approval of Daniel Snyder’s purchase

  1. “We are shocked that you have not only ignored that recommendation”
    ————————

    A “recommendation” that was never in the final report, thus NOT verifiable. Lots of stuff goes into a draft report, but only the FINAL one counts.

  2. As a WFT fan, I would love to see him go, but forcing the sale of the team seems rather harsh.

  3. “We are shocked that the owners made a move to protect themselves against an endless run of future litigation.”

  4. The owners always spout about how it’s a “privilege” to play in the NFL when it comes to player misconduct. Shouldn’t the NFL thus view owning a team as a privilege? There are plenty of people that would line up to buy an NFL franchise. And the NFL would benefit from someone else owning the Washington Football Team. During Snyder’s tenure they have been terrible on and off the field. Getting an owner to run that team correctly would help the NFL’s bottom line and the rest of the owners. I get that they don’t want to be “next” but if you don’t do illegal and terrible things, you have nothing to worry about.

  5. So the NFL favored the owner that wanted to stay over the owners that wanted to leave? Shocking!

  6. Mike Florio please explain why Jerry Richardson had to sell the Panthers but Snyder gets another 40.5% of the team. Seriously explain that discrepancy. The NFL just makes it up as it goes along.

  7. THey won’t force him to sell. However, if they have any cojones they will suspend him for 2 or 3 years.

    That said, they DID force Richardson to sell, so there is a precedent.

  8. Nothing I enjoy more than watching a bunch of manufactured outrage.

    If he were to eventually be required to sell his maority stake in the team, does it matter what percentage that is?

    Does anybody remember the exact percentage Jerry Richardson owned? Most of the free world has no idea the exact percentage any owner owns.

  9. I remember when letters used to be private. Now, people write letters to a person and CC the world. Reminds of being Cc on an email when one person is complaining about another. You have the evidence, then take him to court.

    For the NFL, this is business.Force a sale is a big decision. Ride this out until society moves onto something else.Half the fan base are women. Probably 100 percent of fan base has a sister, daughter, wife, and definitely a mother. Vote with your wallet and now you speak a language that the NFL understand

  10. So Snyder not only participates in and fosters a culture of sexual harassment and some above say he’s being bullied? Please. I’m not saying he should be forced to sell the team, but painting Snyder as some sort of victim here is a complete joke – he deserves every bit of grief he’s getting.

  11. At the end of the day I am against anyone forcing anyone else to sell their business. If you don’t like what I stand for, or my product, then by all means you’re free to go elsewhere, but I’m not being forced to sell what’s mine… PERIOD

  12. “At the end of the day I am against anyone forcing anyone else to sell their business. If you don’t like what I stand for, or my product, then by all means you’re free to go elsewhere, but I’m not being forced to sell what’s mine… PERIOD”

    People are forced to sell their businesses all the time for a myriad of reasons. For example, people who fail to pay their loans have their businesses foreclosured on. People who fail to pay payroll taxes, or fail to follow labor laws, have their businesses seized by the government.

    Apparently you are in favor of people not paying their debts and mistreating their employees.

  13. kohila says:
    Mike Florio please explain why Jerry Richardson had to sell the Panthers but Snyder gets another 40.5% of the team. Seriously explain that discrepancy. The NFL just makes it up as it goes along.
    —————–
    I believe that Richardson was pressured to sell, but not forced to sell. IE the owners did not vote on forcing him to sell.

    Something tells me that a vote forcing Snyder to sell would get pretty ugly.

  14. kohila says: “Mike Florio please explain why Jerry Richardson had to sell the Panthers but Snyder gets another 40.5% of the team. Seriously explain that discrepancy. The NFL just makes it up as it goes along.”
    ————————-

    HUGE difference. Richardson himself was accused of sexual misconducts. Snyder has not, only that it occurred within the organization.

  15. I hope Daniel Snyder prevails in all this litigation with the NFL and they win the NFC East this season.

  16. These people will never ever be satisfied, do not give them even an inch. BTW, Richardson CHOSE to sell, he wasn’t forced.

  17. Crazy that a group of lawyers would promote a bogus report. We see and we notice what you are doing. Ethics at its worst…

    “The letter cites the reported recommendation (apparently not final when leaked) from attorney Beth Wilkinson that Snyder be required to sell the team.”

    This was immediately rebuked and corrected as bogus. Recall, the news organization that released this “report”, was called the sports junkies. ESPN, wapo, among other ACTUAL LEGITIMATE REPORTERS, have said they can’t report and believe it to be completely phony. Like buzzbee, saying it loudly in public multiple times, does not make a thing true. We are ruined if there is no ethics in law or media.

  18. Owners do not suppose to be distractors,,,partly the reason why Brady left New England

  19. Billionaires are like politicians: They’re in a club and we ain’t in it. Synder is one of the elder statesmen of the NFL owners since most of the original owners died and left the teams to their children or bought their teams within the last 10-15 years, so he has the respect of his peers. It’s not surprising they backed him.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.