After weeks of speculation that a bomb was about to drop on the Washington Redskins, the Washington Post published a piece that exposed a toxic culture. The controversy is nothing new for the football team that’s about to change its name after decades of debate. With minority owners jumping ship and Dan Snyder still in charge, people have to ask, “Who would want to buy into this team?”
The Washington Redskins’ toxic culture
The Redskins have been a source of ire in the NFL. They struggle to compete more often than not. Many view Dan Snyder as a toxic presence, which keeps the team from moving forward. Players, coaches, and other personnel have placed the brunt of the blame on the owner. Snyder reportedly talks down to players and demands to be treated as a superior.
The largest source of ire toward the team comes from its name as the Washington Post explains. Despite the team touting surveys that state most Indigenous Americans are OK with the team name, many see it as an exploitation of their culture. For years, people have asked the team to consider a name change. But Snyder and previous owners scoffed at the notion.
Furthermore, players who experience the team first hand speak about how Snyder talks down to players. They say he demands they’re treated as subordinates of himself and the organization. When Trent Williams had a cancer scare, he publicly called out the organization. The offensive tackle said the team failed to check in on him and offer any support.
This echos years of players who felt like the organization sees them as little more than money-makers. The Washington Post article was just another nail in the coffin.
The Washington Post teased a bombshell report for several days before finally dropping it. Inside, the team was exposed as a culture particularly demeaning to women. Misogyny and sports, unfortunately, are associated with each other. The Redskins are just the latest team to be exposed as a toxic workplace culture.
Female employees of the team were regularly subjected to sexual advances. They faced suggestions that they wear more revealing clothing and received disproportionate pay to other male counterparts. Amid these allegations, several team members either quit due to disgust or resigned amidst claims that they were part of the problem.
Owning a sports team is lucrative, but several Redskins minority owners gave up their shares to such a toxic organization. Replacing them could be a chore unto itself, too.
Why would anyone buy in
Snyder will need to replace the people who jumped ship. But even a small share in a multi-billion dollar team will take deep pockets as Sport Business details. With bad press surrounding the Washington football team, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to buy it. They could potentially become a part of an endless cycle of Snyder problems until he leaves.
Perhaps, if somebody bought in now, they could pave the way to majority ownership if Snyder ever relents and sells the team. After all, organizations often look internally for buyers before putting them out on the market. While Snyder has bred a toxic culture that makes the Redskins a pariah in NFL circles, a new owner could try to do what Steve Ballmer did in Los Angeles.
However, the Redskins’ problems are especially bad, even in NFL circles. Someone will likely come out of the woodwork and buy the shares eventually, but as long as Snyder owns the team and toxic culture remains at the forefront, it could be a risky proposition.