Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is the first of his group in the NFL to say that consideration should be had to make Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder sell his team.
In New York for the NFL fall meetings, Irsay is concerned about Snyder in Washington following the investigation that found a very toxic workplace environment.
“I believe there is merit to remove him as owner of the (Commanders),” Irsay said via ESPN. “There’s consideration that he should be removed.”
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Irsay added that the league would “potentially” have a majority vote if it was brought to all the owners. To do so, 24 of the 32 NFL owners would have to vote for the removal of Snyder, but it has never happened in league history.
A Commanders spokesperson said, “It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr. Irsay opted to make statements publicly based on falsehoods in the media,” NFL Network reports.
This statement from Irsay comes after an ESPN report revealed that Snyder told an associate that he has enough information to “blow up” several other NFL owners, adding that the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell “can’t f— with me.”
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He also reportedly told another confidant that “the NFL is a mafia” and “all other owners hate each other.” Another team owner told ESPN that was false and “all the owners hate Dan.”
“Some of the things I’ve heard doesn’t represent us at all,” Irsay explained. “I want the American public to know what we're about as owners. … You can't shy away from the fact that, I believe it's in the best interest of the National Football League that we look at this squarely in the eyes and deal with it.”
The fear of reprisal is one of the underlying themes of the report. ESPN reported the NFL was aware of claims Snyder allegedly used private investigators to dig up “dirt” on other team owners, including Dallas Cowboys icon Jerry Jones. One NFL executive even described Snyder as “the most powerful owner in the NFL” because of whatever information he may know, according to the report.
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Snyder’s lawyers, John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, partners at Holland & Knight, and a Commanders spokesperson vehemently denied the assertions in the report.
“This is categorically false,” Brownlee and Nash said of the dossier claims to ESPN. “He has no ‘dossiers' compiled on any owners.”
The NFL fined the organization $10 million and co-CEO Tanya Snyder was told to focus on team matters while Daniel Snyder was told to focus on other issues after last year’s outcome of the investigation into the organization following the toxic workplace investigation. However, the report was never made public.
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While a vote won’t be occurring at the fall meetings, it could come as soon as the winter meetings.