Commanders owner Dan Snyder reportedly lobbying NFL to limit release of sexual misconduct report
Snyder is reportedly trying to stop potentially damaging information from being released, but even sources close to him don't believe he'll be successful.
Mary Jo White's investigation into alleged sexual harassment and misconduct, and alleged financial impropriety on the Washington Commanders is nearly complete, but team owner Dan Snyder and his lawyers are reportedly lobbying the NFL to limit the release of her report on the investigation.
According to Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham of ESPN, White's work is "all but done," but Snyder and his attorneys are fighting the release of the full report.
The NFL has not commented. A Commanders spokesperson told ESPN that its report was "completely false and a blatant fabrication by someone with no actual knowledge of this matter."
Snyder finalized an agreement Friday to sell the Commanders, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, to a group headed by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils majority owner Josh Harris. The price tag is $6.05 billion, a record for an American sports team, but Snyder was reportedly dragging out the sale process until the deal was completed Friday. The deal is still subject to a vote of other NFL team owners, and there are still concerns.
White, a former U.S. attorney from the Southern District of New York, was hired in February 2022 to investigate multiple sexual misconduct allegations, including several that were made against Snyder. One from 2009 concerns a reported $1.6 million settlement with a female former employee who accused Snyder of groping her and asking her for sex. Snyder reportedly tried to offer the woman a second sum of money to buy her silence about the incident, but was unsuccessful.
Will Snyder be successful?
If this situation sounds familiar, that's because something similar played out between Snyder and the NFL over a previous investigation into workplace harassment and discrimination on the Commanders. Attorney Beth Wilkinson was hired to conduct that investigation in July 2020, and while a formal statement was released about the general findings and Snyder's punishment a year later, a full written report was never issued.
Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were called to testify in front of Congress in 2022, partly because Goodell declined to release Wilkinson's report on her investigation. He claimed one didn't even exist, a decision that was reportedly due to a "common interest agreement" between Snyder and the league. And now, after Goodell promised a written report would be issued at the conclusion of White's investigation, Snyder is reportedly again trying to prevent the release of potentially damaging information.
This time, though, he may not be successful.
"His odds of burying the report are the same as his odds of trading for Patrick Mahomes," a source close to Snyder told ESPN.
It seems like Snyder wants to get $6 billion for selling the Commanders and also prevent the report from coming out. He may not get what he wants this time.