Commanders owner finally stepping down

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

After a handful of controversies and a long 24 years at the club, Daniel Snyder has finally agreed to sell the Washington Commanders. The owner reportedly reached an agreement with a group led by Josh Harris to sell the club for six billion dollars. 

For Washington, as well as for the NFL, this is the biggest sale in football history. Rumors began last November that the club was finally considering selling. These came after years of Snyder denying that he would ever sell. At that time, Forbes ranked the Commanders as the six-most valuable franchise in the NFL at around 5.6 billion dollars. At a price of six billion, this sale would exceed the most valuable franchise, the Dallas Cowboys, and top the record sale of the Denver Broncos for 4.65 billion dollars.

This sale, pending its explicit confirmation, is long overdue. The Washington Commanders has had its fair share of controversies over the years, many led or exacerbated by owner Daniel Snyder. 

In his time at Washington, Snyder defended the team’s racist name, participated in aggressive media attacks, blocked stakeholders attempting to sell, threatened to release “dirt” on other owners and several other potential financial corruptions. One of the most recent scandals has demolished what little Snyder had left of his reputation, in which a congressional investigation found him guilty of workplace sexual harassment. 

This harassment lost him the confidence of other NFL team owners as well as the respect and confidence of the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. The NFL fined the Commanders 10 million dollars in 2021 in the first case of workplace misconduct, which occurred before the congressional investigation and found a “general lack of respect” in the workplace towards women. Snyder’s role in the harassment was clear. 

Outside of internal controversies, the football team hasn’t performed at its greatest either. In the past 24 seasons under Snyder’s ownership, the team made the playoffs only six times, and only went on to win a postseason game twice. They went 166-226-2 in the past 24 years. 

The fans have been checking into the failing ownership and tragic performance of the team. In 2022, Washington ranked the lowest in attendance, averaging about 58,000 fans per game. This is a step down from 2021, in which they ranked the second-lowest. Clearly the rebrand did not do enough to amend the club’s failing reputation.

Josh Harris, the rumored new potential owner of the club, is an experienced winner with a lot of money. He currently, partnered with Mitchell Rales and Magic Johnson, owns the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, the Premier League’s Crystal Palace and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. If the deal holds, Harris will have his work cut for him improving the teams reputation, football performance and even their old stadium. After decades of impropriety from Snyder, however, many have hopes that the new ownership will finally turn things around for Washington’s football team.

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