Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL team formerly known as the Washington Redskins, isn’t likely to be forced to sell the team after revelations came to light about the actions of some members of the franchise’s front office. Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk wrote on Friday that while some expect the league to crack down hard, the punishment will almost certainly be nothing more than a fine, citing a Washington Post article that made the same claim.
Earlier this week, a report came to light about 15 different women who claimed high-ranking officials repeatedly sexually harassed them. At least one of the women said she lost interest in having a career in professional football because of the abuse she suffered.
After the report came to light, some believed Snyder should be held responsible for the behavior of the officials, citing a lack of oversight from the owner.
Gantt indicated that the league will look for some way to punish those who are directly responsible for the harassment, but Snyder isn’t likely to be held accountable. Though suspensions of owners aren’t unheard of in professional sports, it isn’t likely that Snyder will serve any kind of suspension either.
Snyder was criticized for allowing a culture where employees would think sexually harassing women was acceptable, but he wasn’t specifically named as one of the perpetrators. According to the Pro Football Talk report, the only time Snyder was specifically mentioned is when he belittled one male employee for being a former cheerleader.
The sportswriter compared the situation to one involving the Carolina Panthers in 2018. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was pressured into selling after several former employees accused him of inappropriate behavior. Richardson ended up voluntarily selling the Panthers. Gantt speculated that because Snyder wasn’t directly involved in the harassment allegations, the other franchise owners won’t attempt to push him out.
Snyder was also relatively quick to denounce the revelations in the story. He issued a statement on Friday morning and attempted to make it clear he didn’t abide by what had happened.
“The behavior described in yesterday’s Washington Post article has no place in our franchise or society,” Snyder said in his statement. “This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.”
Gantt said the NFL has the ability to force a sale, but it seems unlikely the league will take that step.