The National Football League is getting rid of a huge problem, and it’s not costing them anything. They are also getting a minor PR boost.
That’s because longtime league embarrassment Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder is selling his team. After years of scandal and bluster, countless disgusting public statements and often outrageous rhetoric, Snyder is getting out of pro football ownership.
A Washington native who grew up watching the team when it was both consistently great and the city’s most popular franchise, Snyder has presided over its steady decline. A team that once routinely sold out its games now is far from avidly supported. They play in one of the NFL’s oldest and worst stadiums, in large part because city politicians and management have refused to even consider building a new stadium for any team owned by Snyder.
But assuming reports that were published last Thursday in multiple publications and on various outlets and websites were true, Snyder has reached a deal in principle to sell the team to a group headed by Josh Harris.
Harris, also a Washington native, already owns multiple teams, notably the Philadelpia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. The selling price is estimated at $6.05 billion, the largest ever for a sports team. While the deal is in its earliest stages and still has to get formal league approval, most observers feel it will become a reality within weeks.
Among the other bonuses in the deal, one of the members in the group is Magic Johnson. His presence adds more Black ownership to a league sorely lacking it, even if it is minority status.
Not everyone is thrilled about the deal. Snyder is still under investigation for alleged sexual and fiscal misconduct, and he walks away with an exorbitant profit considering he bought the team for $800 million. As was the case with other owners who sold teams while under fire, Daniel Snyder isn’t paying, at least for now, any penalty for alleged misconduct. There are suggestions that in the future sports leagues should institute some rules limiting or restricting profits available to owners forced to sell their teams if it is due to misconduct.
Still, for fans of the Washington Commanders, the eventual departure of Daniel Snyder is great news, even if he walks away billions richer.