Well, this is getting good.
Barely an hour after Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters that the time possibly has come to remove Daniel Snyder as owner of the Commanders, the Commanders have responded.
“It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr. Irsay opted to make statements publicly based on falsehoods in the media,” a Commanders spokesperson said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “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 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 last three words are the most important: “And they won’t.”
It’s not quite as strong as “all caps never,” which Snyder once said regarding the prospect of changing the team’s former name. But it underscores the reality that a fight is likely, if not definite.
The statement also glosses over the fact that the NFL imposed significant punishment on the Commanders in July 2021, based on facts from Beth Wilkinson’s investigation that the league swept and kept under the rug. As 106.7 The Fan in D.C. reported and as PFT confirmed, Wilkinson would have recommended in writing (if asked for a written recommendation) that Snyder should be required to sell the team.
That’s where this could be headed. A formal vote to force him out and then, possibly, a legal fight over implementing it.
Finally, why do the Commanders continue to think that two years of not violating the rights of employees or otherwise behaving badly should excuse everything that happened over the decade or so before it? They cling to this clumsy P.R. strategy that consists of attacking anyone who would dare to mention past misconduct without also praising the changes the team has made at a time when anything else would have guaranteed a forced sale of the team.