Fellow NFL owner Jim Irsay says Snyder should be removed
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said that there is enough “merit” to remove Washington Commanders’ owner Daniel Snyder from the league amid multiple investigations into Snyder’s NLF club over workplace misconduct and financial improprieties allegations.
Speaking to the media at the NFL’s annual fall meeting on Tuesday, Irsay, who took over the day-to-day operations of the Colts in 1995, said other league owners have to look at the evidence to consider removing Snyder from the league ranks, referring to it as a “difficult situation.”
“I assume we’re going to get into more and more discussion on that,” Irsay said. “It’s a difficult situation. I believe that there’s merit to remove him as owner of the [Commanders]. 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. But I think it’s something that has to be given serious consideration to.”
Twenty-four of the 31 league owners would have to approve the removal of Snyder from ownership of the Washington, D.C.-based NFL franchise for him to be ousted, according to The Washington Post.
“When we look at the evidence and go forward, we’ll have to determine what the situation is,” the 63-year-old Colts owner added. “But I just believe in the workplace today, the standard that the shield stands for in the NFL, that you have to stand for that and protect that. I just think that once owners talk amongst each other, they’ll arrive to the right decision.”
Other league owners earlier this year expressed similar sentiments about removing Snyder, who has owned the Commanders since 1999, if the allegations against his team are true.
In a statement to The Hill, a Washington Commanders spokesperson called Irsay’s comments “highly inappropriate,” saying the Colts owner made those remarks based on “falsehoods in the media.”
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Irsay decided to go public with his statement today, while an investigation is in process, and the team has had no opportunity to formally respond to allegations,” the team spokesperson said in a statement. “The Commanders have made remarkable progress over the past two years. We are confident that, when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won’t.”
The NFL launched its second investigation into Snyder and his organization earlier this year after former team cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston accused Snyder of sexually harassing her at a work-related dinner in 2004.
The House Oversight and Reform committee also launched an investigation last year following the resignation of former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, whose email chain with then-Commanders team president Bruce Allen, was leaked to the public.
Snyder testified before the House panel in a closed-door deposition in July in accordance with their investigation into the team.
An ESPN investigative report published last week alleged that Snyder, 57, has plans to use private investigators to acquire dirt on other NFL owners, coaches, executives and former employees.
In response to the ESPN report, Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, the attorneys representing the more than 40 former team employees involved in the multiple investigations wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding answers on whether the league disclosed witness information and threatening legal action.