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#pounditFriday, March 5, 2021

Will Washington Post article lead Daniel Snyder to sell Redskins?

Dan Snyder

The Washington Post published its article Thursday about the Redskins that many people were expecting. In the article, 15 women shared allegations of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and other inappropriate behavior they say they endured during their time working for the team. Five former Redskins employees, all males, were the subject of the allegations. Three were fired/left the team within the past week, while two others left the team in previous years.

The type of sexual harassment presented in the article should not be condoned by anyone. The type of work environment some of the women had to endure is unacceptable. There is no debate about that.

This article does not seek to minimize the allegations, but to compare the nature of the allegations to similar situations we’ve seen involving teams in the past in analyzing whether or not it will lead owner Daniel Snyder to sell the team.

There have been three recent situations that can be used in comparison.

– In 2014, an audio recording of then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments about black people was released. He quickly was banned from the NBA, and the team was later sold by Sterling’s wife to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

– In 2017, then-Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was accused of sexual harassment towards female employees and also of using a racial slur against a former team scout. He quickly announced that he was selling the team.

– In Feb. 2018, SI published an article about the “corrosive” workplace of the Dallas Mavericks. The allegations mostly centered around the team’s former president and CEO, who was accused of multiple examples of sexual harassment. Team owner Mark Cuban denied knowledge of the allegations and vowed to improve things. Cuban made $10 million in donations to organizations supporting women, and the team was sanctioned. Cuban remains the team owner.

In the two situations where owners eventually sold the team, the owners were the ones who were the focus of the misconduct allegations. In the Mavericks example, the owner was not the focus and therefore did not sell, but was otherwise punished and held responsible for making future changes. The Dallas Mavericks situation seems to be the most comparable for precedent when it comes to forcing a sale of a team, which would work in Snyder’s interest of remaining the owner. Snyder would have to take responsibility for the situation, apologize, and vow to improve things.

However, there have long been cries for Snyder to sell over the team’s poor performance since he has taken over. That, coupled with his past defense of the team’s nickname, which was recently dropped, adds an extra layer to the situation. If some powerful people within the league are motivated to force a sale, this could push things over the edge. If not, there still appears to be a scenario where he remains the team owner.


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