The strangest aspect of Thursday’s action against the Washington Football Team comes from the status of owner Daniel Snyder.
The statement announcing the $10 million fine and other financial punishment explains, in the 28th of 29 paragraphs, that co-owner Tanya Snyder will manage the operations of the team on a day-to-day basis and represent the team at league meetings, indefinitely. Both the league and the team insist that this measure was voluntary, even though the statement from the league does not say that.
Frankly, it feels negotiated. A quit-in-lieu-of-being-fired outcome that allowed Snyder to avoid the indignity of being suspended, but while still as a practical matter being suspended. A deal made as part of the broader resolution of the situation, so that there would be no appeals or acrimony or litigation.
Reinforcing that view is a new report from Mark Maske of the Washington Post, who says that Commissioner Roger Goodell “must approve Daniel Snyder’s return to daily control.”
In the interim, Snyder may attend games, and he can seek new investors for the team. Also, and as mentioned in the release, he will be working on efforts to build a new stadium. But he can’t resume control of the team without Goodell’s approval.
Snyder technically agreed to that on a voluntary basis. Common sense suggests he had no choice but to volunteer.