Nothing has gone well for The Washington Football Team in recent months. Team owner Daniel Snyder was pressured into giving up the name ‘Redskins’ after nearly 90 years after he insisted it would never be changed. Then came the various reports alleging sexual harassment within the workplace. Snyder’s recent comment suggests he’s either serious about a culture change in the organization or it’s a panic move to help him from losing his team.
An ugly time for the Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last few months. The team formerly known as the Washington Redskins is now without a name. After insisting he’d never change the team name, Washington owner Daniel Snyder was forced to do so.
Under extreme financial pressure from big-time businesses such as FedEx, Nike, and Amazon, Snyder decided to drop the name. FedEx threatened to pull out of the naming-rights deal if the name Redskins, deemed offensive by many, was not changed. Nike and Amazon pulled all Washington Redskins merchandise until the name was removed.
Then came the ugly reports. The Washington Post put out two damaging reports alleging sexual harassment involving Washington cheerleaders. Several organization members were fired and the latest report alleged that a lewd video of the cheerleaders, without their knowledge, was made specifically for Snyder. Snyder said he had no knowledge, nor did he ever see that video.
Daniel Snyder appears to be trying to make a change
In mid-August, Daniel Snyder hired Jason Wright to become the team’s new president. Jason Wright is the first Black man to be a team president of an NFL team. Wright is a former player in the NFL and his going is to create a new image for the team. He wants to change the Washington Football Team culture, and he and Snyder sat down and began hashing out a plan.
“In those conversations (with Snyder) we didn’t just talk about the rosy future,” Wright told CBS Sports. “We talked about the mistakes we’ve made. I talked about mine. Dan talked about his. We were really transparent with one another,” Wright said. “We asked each other provocative questions about tough topics. The fact that we got to that level of transparency and openness really gives me a lot of confidence walking into this job.”
Wright said he’s eager to get going and he has a lot of work ahead of him. “There are a broader set of things that need to happen,” he said. “I need to meet people. It’s critical for a new leader of an organization to talk to as many people as possible. And I’m for sure going to do that in my first 100 days. It’s important to listen because culture change is going to happen at the individual level. Me understanding the state of the culture today is going to happen at the individual level.”
Snyder’s comment suggests panic or he’s serious about a change
With the latest negative reports regarding the Washington Football Team, team owner Daniel Snyder said his team will launch an investigation to try and get to the bottom of it. It was reported Monday by The Washington Post that the NFL will now oversee the investigation. Snyder claims he and his wife suggested the league take over the investigation.
“Recently, the Washington Football Team launched an independent third-party investigation into allegations about our culture and incidents of harassment,” Snyder said in a statement. “In conversations with Commissioner Goodell, Tanya and I suggested that the NFL assume full oversight of the investigation so that the results are thorough, complete, and trusted by the fans, the players, our employees, and the public. I appreciate Commissioner Goodell agreeing to our suggestion, and the entire Washington Football Team remains committed to fully cooperation with all aspects of the investigation.”
After the recent allegations came out, Snyder, according to The Washington Post, hired investigator Beth Wilkinson to review the team’s culture. She will now report to the NFL. If the NFL was truly launching its own investigation, wouldn’t the league have its own investigator to be considered ‘independent?’ Sure, Snyder could be genuine in saying he wants the league to do this on its own. Snyder is also a man in trouble. He’s running out of chances as an owner. Is he just saying he agreed to let the NFL take over to make himself look good? Stay tuned for more craziness with the Washington Football Team.