Congress Now Investigating Washington Commanders Owner Daniel Snyder for Shady Ticket Revenue Scheme
Daniel Snyder is a lifelong Washington Commanders fan who made millions in the advertising industry. In 1999, he bought his favorite football team, and the franchise has gone downhill ever since. Things are bad on the field for the Commanders, but apparently, the situation off the field is even worse.
Congress is already investigating Snyder for creating a hostile work environment behind the scenes. Now, the governmental body is expanding its investigation. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is looking into allegations that Snyder and his cohorts are not sharing enough ticket revenue with the rest of the NFL.
The Daniel Snyder Era in Washington is a disaster
From 1982 to 1991, the Washington football franchise was one of the most successful organizations in the NFL. The team went to the playoff seven times and won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien).
Then local businessman Daniel Snyder bought the team, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since.
The team has made the playoffs just five times this millennium and has won just one postseason game. That was a 17-10 wild-card win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005.
The putrid on-field record, though, pales in comparison to what has allegedly happened behind the scenes these last two-plus decades. And stubbornly holding on to the team’s racially insensitive nickname until 2020 is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Washington Post released a bombshell report in 2020 about Snyder allegedly fostering a sexist and toxic work environment within the organization. An NFL investigation led to the team paying a $10 million fine, but the investigations didn’t stop there.
The NFL never released the findings from investigator Beth Wilkinson’s report that led to the fines, so the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee got involved. On Feb. 4, 2022, the committee held hearings regarding “widespread sexual harassment” within the organization, per Forbes.
One of the results of those hearings is that the committee expanded the scope of its investigation. The probe now includes investigating “financial improprieties” by the organization.
Congress may have uncovered a shady ticket revenue scheme
On April 2, 2022, Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez published a report entitled, “Commanders Allegedly Held Back Visiting NFL Teams’ Ticket Revenue.” He explained in the piece:
According to NFL bylaws, all teams are required to pass along 40% of ticket sales from each home game — minus ticket handling charges and taxes — to the league, which then disperses the funds to visiting teams. At least one person gave information in recent weeks to Congressional investigators that alleges the Commanders didn’t pass along the full 40%, two sources with knowledge of the investigation told FOS.Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez on Washington Commanders investigation
The report does note that, as of now, it’s not known who organized the alleged scheme, who authorized it, or how long it’s alleged to have gone on.
It’s worth noting that GOP Oversight Committee Spokesperson Austin Hacker called the news “the leak of one-sided, unconfirmed, unsupported allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind” and “further proof the Democrats’ investigation is a waste of Congress’ time.”
However, Perez wrote, “Sources with knowledge of the information given to Oversight Committee staffers told FOS that it went beyond first-person testimony.”
Will Daniel Snyder have to sell the Washington Commanders?
The NFL is unlike almost any other business. The league is a partnership between the 32 owners, and these owners pay commissioner Roger Goodell (handsomely) to run the league. Goodell makes roughly $63.9 million a year, according to Forbes, to handle problems and hand out discipline to players and coaches.
However, holding owners accountable is a different story.
Since Goodell took over his position in 2006, only one NFL owner has lost a team due to his transgressions. That was Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. In 2017, the NFL forced the Panthers’ original owner to sell the team after revelations about sexual harassment and racist behavior came to light.
In spite of this, NFL owners don’t seem keen on forcing their partners to sell teams due to personal conduct. That would set (what they see as) a dangerous precedent that could possibly take down more than a few longtime owners.
This idea is supported by the fact that the NFL hasn’t taken any serious action against Daniel Snyder yet and may have even played an active role in suppressing the investigative report about the Washington Commanders’ workplace culture.
That said, if these latest allegations about financial improprieties prove true, it could be the final nail in the coffin for Snyder.
While NFL owners might not draw the line at an owner badly mistreating people who work for them, we’ll see how they feel if one of their own cheated them out of millions of dollars.
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