Kevin Durant may make his money on the basketball court, but he could be the key to saving the Washington Redskins. After all, the Washington D.C. native grew up a diehard fan of the historic NFL franchise.
Given the uncertainty about ownership and the team’s name, the Redskins desperately need a savior. And based on his past comments, Durant can fill that role perfectly.
Dan Snyder faces tremendous pressure to change Redskins name
For years, Dan Snyder has stood firm on changing his team’s name. However, the oft-criticized NFL owner may have to pivot from his position. Recently, Snyder has faced tremendous pressure from various stakeholders to change the Redskins name due to its offensive nature.
Initially, FedEx threatened to pull their money if Snyder keeps the name. Things only got worse when new broke that CEO Fred Smith and two other minority owners want to sell their ownership stakes in the franchise. Smith, Dwight Schar, and Robert Rothman own about 40 percent of the Washington franchise.
In addition to FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo received letters signed by 87 investors worth a combined $620 billion asking the companies to sever ties with Snyder’s team unless a name change takes place.
The Redskins did issue a statement saying that they will review the team’s name. And ultimately, it seems more of a “when” than “if” scenario surrounding the team’s controversial name. In desperate need of a savior, Kevin Durant can be the hero the NFL needs.
Kevin Durant is a diehard Redskins fan
The Slim Reaper hails from the nation’s capital and has never been shy about expressing his affection for the Washington franchise. In the past, the 6-foot-10 NBA superstar has walked the sidelines to cheer on his favorite team. Durant has also expressed a desire to take his fandom to the next level.
In 2015, he appeared on ESPN’s Fantasy Football Focus podcast to discuss his Redskins fandom. He dropped an interesting nugget about one of his lifelong dreams.
I love football, man, it’s a passion of mine. I would definitely love to own a team, you know hopefully one of these years, toward the end of my career. You know, I follow it a lot. I’m always checking if guys are hurt, how they’re playing and who they’re playing against. It just makes Sundays fun. It keeps my mind off the hustle and bustle I guess of the NBA season and get back to just being a fan of a sport. You know? So, it’s pretty cool for me. I think I need it, as a professional athlete.
Durant’s desire to enter NFL ownership seemed like a dream five years ago. But now, he has an opportunity to turn that dream into a reality. And in doing so, he can save the franchise he has loved since childhood.
Durant can be the savior the Redskins desperately need
Former NBA stars like David Robinson and Grant Hill utilized their fortunes to become minority owners in NBA franchises. Longtime NFL running back Warrick Dunn invested in his former team when he bought a small ownership stake in the Atlanta Falcons. Even Kevin Durant got into the ownership game recently by purchasing part of an MLS team.
Now, though, he can not only achieve his dream of owning part of his favorite NFL team but also save the franchise in the process. Of course, it will cost a pretty penny to do so, according to ESPN.
When this trio invested in the Redskins in 2003, it cost them a combined $200 million initially for a 20% stake. In July 2019, Forbes listed the franchise value at $3.1 billion. If that’s the case, replacing the group’s 40% stake with three other investors would require a pay-in of about $400 million apiece. That’s a hefty fee, which might force Washington to seek a lot more investors.
Kevin Durant certainly doesn’t have $400 million lying around. However, he has earned about $225 million just from his NBA contracts. Durant also performs well off the court as an investor in several business ventures, so he definitely brings credibility and capital to the table.
Ultimately, he would have to settle for a very small percentage of the team. Perhaps he could convince some of his peers to go in to help purchase an ownership stake in the team. That would certainly be a big PR boost for both the Washington franchise and the NBA superstar. Plus, fans certainly would root for Durant as an owner after dealing with Snyder for decades.
This seems like a golden opportunity to change the entire future of one of the NFL’s most historic franchises. And who better to save the Redskins than their biggest and most popular fan. Let’s see if Kevin Durant adds a new job title to his resume.