WASHINGTON — Dan Snyder has hired Bank of America to start the process of selling the Washington Commanders, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The Washington Commanders, along with Dan and Tanya Snyder, announced the latest update around the team stating that the Bank of America Securities have been hired to consider "potential transactions."
"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 statement reads.
It is unclear what this means - whether the Snyder's plans to sell the whole team, part of the team, or the stadium.
"Any potential transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for review and require an affirmative vote by three quarters of the full membership (24 of 32 teams)," according to a VP of communications with the NFL.
The Snyders have owned the Washington Commanders since 1999.
Following the news of the potential sale, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer said on Twitter, "Good riddance."
"I for one will be very happy if this comes to pass. To be clear, Dan Snyder did not "set the gold standard," and I am proud of my constituents and their colleagues who courageously came forward to speak out about the toxic culture Snyder created. Good riddance," Beyer tweeted.
This news comes after a number of controversies surrounding the team including the failing FedEx Field and the workplace misconduct investigation into the Commanders' owner Dan Snyder.
In the investigation, Snyder was accused of not protecting women in the workplace including hiding a 2009 settlement with a former team employee who accused him of sexual assault. The investigation continues after over a year of developments in the case.
The question on everyone’s mind following the release of the team statement is “why now?” Two weeks ago, at the annual NFL owner’s meeting, Colts owner Jim Irsay became the first owner to publicly break his silence on Snyder, telling reporters that there was support among owners to force Snyder out.
Irsay said there was “merit to remove" Snyder amid several ongoing investigations into workplace harassment allegations. Forcing Snyder to sell the team would have been unprecedented and require 24 votes from the league's 32 owners.
“I think it's something that we have to review, we have to look at all the evidence and we have to be thorough in going forward," Irsay said when asked whether he thinks Snyder is good for the league. "I believe [other owners] will support [removing Snyder] if the report shows and they believe it's the right thing to do."
After Irsay’s comments, legal counsel for Snyder John Brownlee gave an emphatic "no" answer when asked if Snyder has ever considered selling the team and living a private life.
Snyder's ownership of the team has been widely debated for years amid several scandals and investigations into workplace conduct in Washington. The league has been investigating allegations of sexual misconduct and financial impropriety, a probe conducted by attorney Mary Jo White that is ongoing.
It became a hotter topic following an ESPN report detailing Snyder’s efforts to influence other owners and the league office to maintain control of the team. ESPN reported, citing anonymous sources, that Snyder has hired private investigators and told people he has enough information to expose fellow owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Commanders have categorically denied all claims made in the ESPN report, releasing detailed responses to 12 questions from ESPN's article.
“It’s hard to imagine a piece that is more categorically untrue, and is clearly part of a well-funded, two-year misinformation campaign to coerce the sale of the team, which will continue to be unsuccessful" a team spokesperson said in response to questions about the veracity of ESPN's reporting.
Snyder has owned the team since 1999. He and the organization are currently the subject of ongoing investigations by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as the White report. Last month, league executive Jeff Miller said there was no timeline for the completion of White's investigation. Lisa Banks, who represents more than 40 former team employees, some of whom have spoken to White, voiced disappointment about the owners' plan not to vote on Snyder but expects new findings to change that trajectory.
Snyder voluntarily testified for nearly 11 hours at a deposition before the House Committee on Oversight & Reform on July 28. Due to the closed-door nature of the testimony, what was said has not been released.
The NFL is still in the middle of their second investigation of the Washington Commanders that involves Snyder and accusations of harassments and misconduct. A team spokesperson tells WUSA9 Snyder has yet to speak to Mary Joe White, who's leading the investigation, and that there's no meeting currently set for that to happen.
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