What a surprise. The last NFL franchise to integrate — the team named after a racial slur until 2020 — is rotten. So rotten that Congress decided to dig all the way in to see just how far it spread, and found out that it is visible as soon as the skin is removed and runs all the way to the core of the noxious fruit that is the Washington Commanders.
In a 78-page report, Congress detailed the contemptible job that Daniel Snyder has done as the franchise owner, and also how the NFL did not take enough steps to thwart his evil reign. The specifics are gross, but one paragraph on the second to last page perfectly summarizes the disgusting dysfunction of the NFL in the nation’s capital:
“The results of the Committee’s investigation, as laid out in this report, are clear: sexual harassment, bullying, and other toxic conduct pervaded the workplace at the Washington Commanders and were perpetuated by a culture of fear instilled by the Team’s owner. The NFL, through the investigation conducted by Ms. Wilkinson, was aware that Mr. Snyder and other Team executives not only failed to stop this misconduct but engaged in it themselves. The League also knew that Mr. Snyder and the Commanders organization used a variety of tactics to intimidate, surveil, and pay off whistleblowers and to influence and obstruct Ms. Wilkinson’s work. Rather than seek real accountability, the NFL aligned its legal interests with Mr. Snyder’s, failed to curtail his abusive tactics, and buried the investigation’s findings.”
Snyder did what he wanted when he wanted, and showed no regard for the humanity of the organization’s female employees. This report is littered with people detailing — without anonymity — the flagrant misconduct by Snyder and others within the organization.
It’s bad enough that Snyder has mismanaged the franchise on the field. A franchise that won three Super Bowls in the 20 years prior to his purchase, has won two playoff games in the 23 years since. Much of the fanbase that used to literally shake RFK Stadium with their enthusiasm, has been drained of all of its passion by Snyder. It has been 15 years since Sean Taylor’s tragic death and the only tribute the franchise has gotten right is when the defense decided to line up with 10 players on the first play of its first game without him. Every other effort has been a disgrace.
Snyder is supposed to be selling the franchise soon. Better late than never, but it has taken far too long. It took him being pressured by the people who own the naming rights to the stadium to finally change the franchise’s racial slur nickname. Now, in 2022, we find out in a Congressional report that he has been hiring private investigators to show up at peoples’ houses to try and intimidate them so they wouldn’t speak out against him.
His lawyers, Jerry Jones, and the Republican party can scream that this investigation is a leftist smear campaign all that they want, but the Congressional committee spoke to over 150 people. The conclusion that they drew is that the reporting by the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere had been accurate.
The workplace of the Washington NFL franchise has been toxic during Snyder’s time as owner, and not enough has been done to stop it. The NFL can shoulder some of the blame for not acting quickly, or decisively, enough to try and stop this madness, but Snyder is the main problem here.
For more than two decades, Snyder has run this franchise without much regard for decency. He should have been forced to sell his franchise years ago. The faster that he is out of sports the better, but removing him now can’t undo the damage he has done to people and also the franchise’s reputation.