By Jacob Gurvis
Dan Snyder, the Jewish owner of the Washington Commanders who is ensnared in a scandal involving sexual harassment in the team’s workplace, announced today that he and his wife and co-owner Tanya Snyder are exploring a possible sale of the NFL franchise.
The Commanders released a statement Wednesday saying that the Snyders have hired Bank of America Securities to “consider potential transactions.” The release did not specifically mention selling the team.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL,” the team said in the statement.
Snyder has been under intense scrutiny since July 2020, when a Washington Post investigation revealed a series of allegations of sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture by former team employees, including the use of “Jewish slurs” by a high-ranking team executive.
“Dan Snyder created a culture in which this behavior was accepted and encouraged,” former team staffer Emily Applegate said in February during testimony to Congress.
The organization, and Snyder in particular, are under investigation by multiple entities, including Congress and the NFL. An initial NFL investigation into the team’s alleged toxic culture resulted in a $10 million fine in July 2021. Snyder stepped back from his day-to-day responsibilities as a result.
The Commanders are also under investigation for possible financial improprieties, which the organization denies.
This past summer, Snyder asked to postpone a scheduled deposition in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform because of a trip to Israel to observe the anniversary of his mother’s death.
“Given that these plans are part of religious observances honoring his mother’s memory on the one-year anniversary of her passing, Mr. Snyder’s trip to Israel cannot be rescheduled,” said Snyder’s attorney Karen Patton Seymour in a letter obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
According to a document released in June by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the House committee’s chair, Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” to discredit their allegations, including hiring private investigators to intimidate witnesses and filing an overseas lawsuit to obtain phone records and emails.
Snyder, who is a member of the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, purchased the team in 1999 for $800 million. According to a Forbes estimate, the franchise is now worth $5.6 billion.