Next week, Commanders owner Daniel Snyder won’t appear before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform, in person or virtually, because among other things he has a “Commanders-related business conflict.” Given that Snyder isn’t supposed to be involved in Commanders business, that’s confusing.
It’s unclear what the conflict is, but it’s apparently important enough to keep him from testifying before the Committee. Which raises a simple question. Is Snyder permitted to engage in this specific piece of Commanders-related business?
We’ve asked the league twice to address this issue. We received a response to neither email. (The way it usually goes, when they don’t want to answer me, is I’ll ask three times before getting a perfunctory, “No comment.” This time, I decided not to ask a third time.)
From my Thursday inquiry: “I want to be sure I’m not missing something. Maybe this is permitted. I’m not sure what the specific barriers on his involvement are.”
Here’s what Commissioner Roger Goodell said regarding Snyder’s involvement in March: “Dan Snyder has not been involved in day-to-day operations. Don’t believe he’s been in the facility at all, and when we continue to have league matters, Tanya has represented the team as the CEO both on a day-to-day basis, but also here and that will continue for at least the foreseeable future, but Dan and I will talk about that at some point.”
The next day, the Washington Times reported that Snyder has in reality resumed his normal role with the team. The league declined to comment on this report, which directly conflicted with Goodell’s remarks.
And so continues the confusion regarding Snyder’s status. It dates back to last July. Snyder insisted it wasn’t a suspension but a voluntary move. Snyder’s lawyer also proclaimed that Snyder can return whenever he wants, with Goodell’s approval; Goodell’s own words suggest otherwise.
Although the league can easily ignore my questions, Goodell could (and should) be asked when he testifies next week to explain the Commanders-related business that has kept Snyder from participating, and whether that specific piece of Commanders-related business meshes with his current status. Goodell may try to dance around it. Hopefully, the Committee won’t take a non-answer for an answer.