June 30, 2022

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NFL owners support Daniel Snyder's discipline, who warns against being forced out

NFL owners support Daniel Snyder’s discipline, who warns against being forced out

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ATLANTA – Several owners of the NFL team said they would support a significant suspension by Washington Leaders League owner Daniel Snyder if allegations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety against him and the team are substantiated.

But despite growing discontent over a series of controversies that began nearly two years ago, the owners said no meaningful steps had been taken toward a push to remove Snyder from ownership of his franchise.

Snyder has denied all allegations against him.

“There is definitely a concern,” said one of the owners, who spoke, like the others, on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. “There is anger. But there is a big difference between wanting him to leave and taking steps to force him out.”

This owner and others said they would support the league in taking significant disciplinary action against Snyder if The investigation is being conducted by attorney Mary Jo White supports the allegations.

“It all depends on the report,” said the owner. “We have to see. I think a stern comment could be right.”

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Two other owners said they were unaware of any efforts to gauge support to try to force Snyder to sell his franchise. Such a move would require 24 votes from among the 32 teams.

Someone said, “If that happens, no one will ask for my vote.”

Another said, “I don’t think that’s accurate.”

Asked if the owners could get to the point of trying to evict Snyder from ownership if the White Report proves the allegations against him, that owner said, “I don’t know.”

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Although this possibility has not been ruled out, several owners have cited the legal complexities of such an attempt, expressing the belief that Snyder would do his best to combat any such effort.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was not aware of any effort by the owners to remove Snyder.

“I’m not at all aware of that,” Goodell said at a news conference after Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t respond much to speculation, especially to those that I don’t know have any basis in facts.”

Tuesday’s comments come on the heels of reports in recent months of growing unrest among NFL owners over Snyder. Owner He told USA Today This past weekend, owners are “counting the votes” regarding the attempt to remove Snyder.

Goodell said the league will make a decision on potential discipline once White’s investigation is complete.

“Obviously, I think we took all the allegations very seriously,” he said. “We will look at them, and we will see if there is any factual basis for any of those. But we will definitely take all of those seriously, and we will deal with that once we know better.”

Goodell acknowledged that the owners had opinions on the matter, adding, “I’ve said to everyone, including this group, ‘Let’s wait for the facts.'”

White’s investigation with Snyder and the leaders begins in the aftermath Allegations made during the Congressional Roundtable on February 3. Tiffany Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing director for the team, was among six former employees who showed up on Capitol Hill to talk about their experiences working with the team while the committee investigates workplace culture and the NFL’s handling of allegations of rampant sexual misconduct in the Frenchman. She told members of Congress that Snyder harassed her at a group dinner, put his hand on her thigh and pressed her toward his limousine.

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Snyder described the accusations directly against him as “blatant lies.”

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White is also looking at Allegations of financial impropriety That was detailed in a 20-page letter that Democratic leaders on the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent to the Federal Trade Commission. The committee’s letter detailed allegations made by Jason Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service who had worked with the team for 24 years. According to the letter, Friedman accused the team with withholding up to $5 million in refundable deposits from season ticket holders and also hiding money that was supposed to be shared between the NFL owners.

The leaders denied any financial wrongdoing. Writing in a letter to the FTC That the allegations are “baseless” and asserts that “there is no justification for their investigation.”

White, a partner at the New York law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, oversaw the NFL’s investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against former Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson. She is a former US attorney for the Southern District of New York and former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her investigation with Richardson concluded that there was no information to discredit the allegations made against him. NFL Richardson fined $2.75 million In 2018, he sold the franchise to current owner David Tepper.

The NFL said it intended to make the results of White’s investigation public.

The offices of Attorney General Jason S. They conduct their own investigations.

After a previous investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson Allegations of sexual harassment within the organizationthe NFL announced in july that the team had been fined $10 million and that Snyder’s wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, would take over the day-to-day operations of the franchise for an indefinite period.

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Tania Snyder has represented the team at league meetings since then, but she did not attend that meeting after she tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Nikki Japvala in Washington contributed to this report.