Roger Goodell insists Dan Snyder isn’t running Commanders — evidence says otherwise

“It is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in numerous respects: bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment, and harassment. Moreover, for a prolonged period of time, the Commanders had a woefully deficient HR function, particularly with respect to reporting practices and recordkeeping. As a result, we imposed unprecedented discipline on the club – monetary penalties of well over $10 million, and requirements that the club implement a series of recommendations and allow an outside firm to conduct regular reviews of their workplace. In addition, for the past year, Daniel Snyder has not attended League or committee meetings, and to the best of my knowledge, has not been involved in day-to-day operations at the Commanders.” 

Dan Snyder’s day-to-day involvement within the Washington Commanders’ organization was something of an open secret for months. That’s what makes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s repeated comments about Snyder’s lack of involvement — including the above quote from his opening statement before Congress on Wednesday — so curious.

Sources told The Athletic of Dan Snyder’s return to day-to-day operations prior to Goodell’s comments at the NFL owners’ meetings in Palm Beach this March. The owner’s activity has included standard meetings with team president Jason Wright and head coach Ron Rivera to discuss various aspects of the business and football sides of the operation, according to a team source.

“Dan Snyder has not been involved in day-to-day operations,” Goodell said at the owners’ meetings. “I don’t believe he’s been at the facility at all. And when we continue to have league matters, Tanya (Snyder) has represented the team as the CEO both on a day-to-day basis but also here with the league. She represented the club here, and that will continue for at least the foreseeable future. But Dan and I will talk about that at some point.”

In his opening statement Wednesday, Goodell softened his usual answer about Snyder being uninvolved by adding the phrase, “to the best of my knowledge.”

The thing is, one didn’t need a reporter’s access or any sources to know of Snyder’s involvement. It’s been happening in plain sight for months.

Last July, the league fined the organization owned by Snyder $10 million following an independent investigation into the internal culture following allegations of sexual and workplace harassment. The investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson was not made public, nor was a written report submitted to the league.

Snyder declined to attend Wednesday’s hearing, which Goodell participated in virtually. Oversight Committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), said at Wednesday’s hearing that she will issue a subpoena to Snyder for a deposition next week.

Author: Lucy Green