What Home committee listening to about Commanders harassment allegations means to NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testifies just about throughout a Home Oversight Committee listening to on the Washington Commanders’ office conduct. (Jacquelyn Martin / Related Press)

What does the longer term maintain for Washington Commanders proprietor Daniel Snyder?

He handed management of the staff to his spouse, Tanya, final 12 months – his hiatus is indefinite – and was fined $ 10 million within the wake of an NFL investigation that discovered a sample of sexual harassment within the group spanning from 2006 to 2019. The league inquiry stemmed from a Washington Submit investigation of the franchise.

Snyder was invited to testify earlier than the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform however declined, saying he had enterprise overseas. The committee chairperson, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, mentioned she deliberate to concern a subpoena to compel a deposition from Snyder subsequent week.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified just about earlier than Congress on Wednesday, telling the committee that he has “not seen a office within the NFL that’s anyplace close to what we noticed within the context of that point interval for the Washington Commanders.”

Goodell additionally mentioned Snyder has been held accountable and that he, as commissioner, does not have the authority to take away Snyder as an proprietor. The one means an proprietor could be eliminated is by a three-quarters majority vote by fellow house owners.

Within the wake of the listening to Wednesday, let’s discover a number of the points surrounding the scenario:

Is it probably that Snyder loses his staff over this?

That may be a shock. There’s a number of trepidation amongst house owners as a result of it units a precedent that would in the end boomerang to one in every of them. Certainly, there are a number of house owners with soiled laundry they would not need aired, and if the prospect of shedding their staff is on the desk, effectively… However it’s additionally a slippery slope. What rises to the extent of shedding your staff? What if folks merely need you out and might persuade sufficient of your fellow house owners that it is advisable to go? It could be that Snyder deserves to get the boot, however different house owners are going to be circumspect about that.

How is that this completely different than what occurred to Jerry Richardson and the Carolina Panthers?

A 2017 investigation of the Panthers revealed findings of confidential payouts, together with sexual harassment, involving then-owner Richardson. He bought the staff shortly after these got here to gentle. It is unclear precisely how a lot stress the NFL exerted on him, however what we do know is Richardson was 80 and sick, and there was no indication he deliberate to maintain the franchise in his household. His function within the league had been drastically diminished, particularly throwing all his weight behind the improper horse – the Carson venture – within the Los Angeles stadium derby. Clearly, he wasn’t going to place up the sort of struggle that Snyder has and can.

Is that this just like the Donald Sterling scenario?

The NBA pressured Sterling to promote the Clippers in 2014 and banned him for all times following an investigation into racist feedback he remodeled the cellphone to his ex-girlfriend. These feedback have been repugnant, as is the Washington scenario. Completely different leagues, completely different set of details, equally shameful habits. There have been stories on the time that Clippers gamers have been contemplating refusing to play for Sterling, they usually staged a staff protest earlier than a playoff sport. Unhealthy because the Washington scenario is, it hasn’t reached that time.

What ought to we make of Snyder’s alleged “shadow investigation” concentrating on former staff staff, journalists and others?

Is it improper and embarrassing? Sure. Stunning? No. These are the findings of Congress, and Snyder would not be the primary billionaire beneath the microscope to fund a parallel investigation to search out out what proof is on the market. Politicians have executed it too but it surely appears as if that may be an apparent try and intimidate and bully folks into silence.

What concerning the allegations of the Commanders dishonest different house owners out of cash?

In a letter to the Federal Commerce Fee in March, Congress mentioned the franchise for years had been masking income – cash that ought to have been shared among the many groups – to offer Washington the next revenue. A whistleblower alleged the membership may need retained upward of $ 5 million in unshared funds. True, house owners don’t love folks messing with their cash.

First, in NFL phrases, you’d discover that sum of money within the sofa cushions. That is to not excuse it, however $ 5 million divided 32 methods does not represent a Brinks truck for any of the opposite house owners. Additionally, it is not unusual for the NFL to appropriate a staff for improperly sheltering cash, whether or not the membership is doing so knowingly or unwittingly. It does occur.

However what if that have been the ultimate straw for Snyder? Say it was soccer’s reply to Al Capone getting popped for tax evasion. Not an ideal look that the house owners would look the opposite means on the toxic-workplace stuff and solely lose their minds once they misplaced some cash. It is exhausting to think about a worse PR transfer for the league.

What makes this even worse for the NFL?

Two of the most important NFL tales individuals are following proper now are what’s taking place with the Snyder investigation, and what is going on to occur to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, accused by 24 therapeutic massage therapists of harassing or assaulting them throughout appointments. Each are centered on the mistreatment of girls. Each are nightmares.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.

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