Report: Snyder to purchase full control of Washington Football Team
League owners expected to approve debt waiver next week, New York Times reports
Daniel Snyder is poised to purchase the remaining 40.5% of the Washington Football Team, which would give him full control of the NFL franchise, according to reporting by The New York Times on Wednesday.
The Ashburn-based NFL’s team owners are expected to approve a waiver next week that would allow Snyder to take on an additional $450 million in debt to pay the minority co-owners $875 million for their holdings. Snyder has been feuding with co-owners Dwight Schar, Robert Rothman and Frederick Smith, who bought into the team in 2003 but tried to sell their stakes last year, the Times reports. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, an NFL spokesman said the sale and the league’s investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct are “two separate matters,” and that an investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson is continuing.
Earlier this month, a Washington, D.C.-based sports radio show, “The Sports Junkies,” reported that a leaked portion of Wilkinson’s report recommends that Snyder divest his 60% ownership of the team, or be suspended for six months. The Ashburn-based team has been at the center of controversy since last year over reports in The Washington Post of lewd videos taken of the team’s cheerleaders without their knowledge, which were later screened for team executives.
In December, The Washington Post reported that the team paid a female former employee $1.6 million in a confidential settlement in 2009 after she accused Snyder of sexual misconduct. According to the leaked report, the alleged incident occurred on Snyder’s private plane. December’s news came after bombshell allegations by 15 women who said they were sexually harassed when they worked for the team during Snyder’s tenure as majority owner since 1999. Several Washington Football executives were fired in the wake of the August report.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided a few days later, at the end of August, that the league would take over the investigation into the team, which launched its own third-party probe.
Also last August, Snyder went to court and accused Schar of spreading negative information about him to potentially force him to sell his majority stake in the team, which he purchased in 1999. In July 2020, the team bowed to corporate pressure and announced it would drop its former name, the Redskins, which was broadly seen as discriminatory and derogatory against Native Americans, and said it would choose a new name after months of discussion and public input.