The Washington Football Team’s chaotic year continues.
Earlier this offseason, there was chatter that the team’s minority owners wanted to sell their stakes in the club. Black Diamond Capital chairman Robert Rothman, NVR Inc. board chairman Dwight Schar and FedEx Corp. CEO Fred Smith collectively own 40 percent of the Washington Football Team while Dan Snyder owns the other 60 percent.
Rothman, Schar, and Smith are now pressuring Snyder to sell his stake in the team, according to The Wall Street Journal. The news comes on the heels of recent legal filing by Snyder which suggests at least one minority owner has tried to leak defamatory information against him.
The franchise remains under scrutiny as 15 former female employees recently came forward with allegations of sexual harassment. It’s worth noting that none of the 15 claims were against Snyder or any member of ownership.
Could Snyder be Forced to Sell?
There were rumblings that the franchise’s name change kept Snyder from being forced to sell the team.
“If he had not changed this name, he would have gone down the route of Marge Schott and Donald Sterling and Jerry Richardson,” Kornheiser said recently. “They would have said, ‘You have to sell the team.’
“…He went absolutely kicking and screaming, and I’m sure at some point they said, ‘Do you want to continue owning this team? Because if you do, that name is out.’”
The organization changed the name temporarily to the Washington Football Team, though there is a chance the name sticks long-term.
Ron Rivera Addresses Culture Issues in Washington’s Organization
Ron Rivera was brought in this offseason and while he’ll have the challenge of turning around the 3-13 team, he’ll also take on the responsibility of turning around the culture, as Pro Football Action relayed.
“Biggest thing is we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution,” Rivera said. “Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!”
Senior vice president of content and voice of the team Larry Michael, former director of pro personnel Alex Santos, former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, former president of business operations Dennis Greene, and former chief operating officer Mitch Gershman were accused of wrongdoing.
Snyder has yet to speak in public on the matter. He did send out a letter to his employees from him and his wife, Tanya.
“We are sad and disappointed, as you all are, after reading the story in The Washington Post yesterday. On behalf of the organization, we want to apologize to each of you and to everyone affected by this situation,” the owners said in the letter.“We are sad and disappointed, as you all are, after reading the story in The Washington Post yesterday. On behalf of the organization, we want to apologize to each of you and to everyone affected by this situation,” the owners said in the letter.
Snyder added that some of the issues were brought to ownership’s attention in the past and they were addressed. Yet, some of the allegations were news to the Snyders recently.
“The actions in the story have no place in our franchise or in society. As you may be aware, when the past issues outlined in the article were initially brought to our attention, they were addressed at the time. However, some of these issues were brought forth only in the last few days and we have subsequently made changes and addressed them as well,” the letter read.
The Snyders also spoke about creating the “culture we all want,” adding that employees will hear more from leadership going forward.
“Clearly, there is work to be done to build a better organizational culture. We need to get better and the time is now.”