Dan Snyder has been the owner of the Washington Football Team for over 20 years.
The 56-year-old Snyder is a billionaire who could arguably be called the worst owner in the league.
His team has not made it past the divisional round of the NFC playoffs in the limited success it has had under Snyder’s ownership.
He is in good company because there are several bad owners, but Snyder is the worst.
He is usually reactive instead of proactive, and here are a couple of extreme examples.
Name Change – Part 1
Snyder is notorious for letting issues simmer over a period of years before doing anything about them.
One is the removal of the Redskins logo, mascot, and team nickname.
It is important to note that activists wanted the Redskins name changed long before Snyder took over as owner of the team.
However, the backlash grew louder as the years passed when corporate sponsorships were in jeopardy.
How did Snyder react to the name change notion before things got to a fever pitch?
“We’ll never change the name,” Redskins owner Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013: “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” Times have changed and the corporate sponsorship pressure made it impossible for Snyder to hold his position: https://t.co/mQ2RqVmh90
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) July 13, 2020
With an infamous 2013 quote that has not aged well.
He claimed the team name would never change under his watch.
“We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
Finally, in the midst of the pandemic, Snyder made the decision to remove the Redskins from the team’s identity on July 13, 2020.
Snyder was reacting to the backlash, and it was close to the start of the season so there was no Plan B for the team name.
For that reason, they went with the generic name of Washington Football Team (WFT) for the 2020 season.
Name Change – Part 2
— The Root (@TheRoot) March 24, 2021
Supposedly WFT was a temporary moniker to be replaced by something after there was more time to evaluate options.
It does not appear a permanent change is on the horizon for the 2021 season.
The issue was barely discussed during the offseason; however, there was a fury that arose from the season ticket holders who were queried about potential team names in April 2021.
The options included: Aviators, Wild Hogs, Presidents, Capital City Football Club, Ambassadors, Monarchs, Riders, Redwolves, Wayfares, Griffins, Warriors, Armada, Rising, Swifts, Commanders, Pilots, Rubies, Renegades and DC Football Club.
Workplace Culture Problems
The name change is minor in the scheme of things.
On July 1, 2021, the NFL fined WFT $10 million as a result of an investigation into sexual harassment claims; some of the behavior has been occurring for decades.
NFL is fining the Washington Football Team $10 million as a result of the league’s investigation into the team’s culture. The money will be donated to charity.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 1, 2021
Cheerleaders were reportedly videotaped undressing, and female employees had to deal with lewd comments among other things.
The NFL issued a statement regarding the fine and investigation.
It read in part:
“The Commissioner concluded that for many years the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team, both generally and particularly for women, was highly unprofessional. Bullying and intimidation frequently took place and many described the culture as one of fear, and numerous female employees reported having experienced sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace.”
Snyder was alluded to in the following excerpt from the statement:
“Ownership and senior management paid little or no attention to these issues. In some instances, senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves, including use of demeaning language and public embarrassment.”
WFT likely knew what was coming and once again reacted by making the decision to name Snyder’s wife, Tanya, co-CEO.
Washington Football Team announced that Tanya Snyder has been named co-CEO. She will join her husband as the WFT looks forward to unveiling a new name and brand for the next era of Washington football. Mrs. Snyder also now becomes one of few female CEOs in NFL history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 29, 2021
Hopefully, WFT can get out of the news for Dan Snyder’s repeated missteps, fix the broken workplace culture, and focus on the game of football in the upcoming months.