News & Politics

Report Claims NFL Investigation Recommends Dan Snyder Be Forced to Sell

The Sports Junkies say they've seen part of Beth Wilkinson's investigation into Washington Football Team

Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

An investigation into the culture of Washington Football Team will recommend that the NFL either force Dan Snyder to sell his interest in the team or that the league suspend him for a “significant period to allow time to repair its infrastructure and culture.” That’s what DC-area radio personalities the Sports Junkies said Friday, saying they “have seen part of the documents that … appear to be from Beth Wilkinson to Roger Goodell.”

Wilkinson is the Washington attorney who was originally hired by Washington Football Team to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic culture for female employees. The NFL took over oversight of the investigation last August, which followed Washington Post reports about the team’s mistreatment of women during Snyder’s two-decade-plus ownership.

The Junkies say the report gives examples of other leagues suspending owners or forcing them to sell. Examples include former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was forced out of the league after racist outbursts; Indiana Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was suspended after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated; former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., sanctioned for his role in a gambling scandal; and Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens, who was suspended for shoving a player.

Jason Bishop, one of the Junkies, said Wilkinson’s recommendation that Snyder be forced to sell was a result of Snyder, according to a Junkies source, “trying to persuade or instruct other employees not to talk to Wilkinson’s firm about what they were investigating.” While the hosts agreed that forcing Snyder to sell would be a “dream for all the fans” (one predicted a parade, “almost like they won a championship” if he left the team); other NFL owners would be unlikely to vote for such a sanction because “they don’t want their butts to be next.” Indeed, as New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich told Washingtonian in 2018, many owners are “absolute pariahs in their markets.”

The Junkies stressed that they hadn’t seen the actual report, which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in February was nearing completion. Wilkinson did not reply to a request for comment. The NFL has denied the Junkies’ reporting on the matter, the radio personalities say.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.