But unless Snyder decides to resist the subpoena, a scenario that seems possible if not likely, the committee will be able to question the person most responsible for the team’s misogynistic work culture. Maloney and his fellow Democrats have painted Snyder as the face of workplace misconduct within the Commanders, the NFL and the country. His salt-and-pepper bearded mug is the one women and workers around the world need to guard against, and using the committee’s investigation into the NFL’s handling of the Commanders as his platform, Maloney submitted two bills of law that will address sexual harassment at work.
The legislation may very well protect employees in the future, but when it comes to Snyder, nothing significant will happen regardless of whether he testifies next week. Or the following week. Or anytime soon.
Daniel Snyder conducted ‘shadow investigation’ of accusers, panel finds
Neither Congress nor the NFL commissioner can issue the kind of discipline that needs to happen here. Snyder should no longer own the NFL.
He lost that privilege when he created a level of toxicity that Roger Goodell testified Wednesday he had never seen within an NFL franchise. When he paid hush money in 2009 to a woman who accused him of sexual assault in the back of a private plane. Or, if he couldn’t care less about the abuse of women, when he treated a once-proud franchise like a toy he found in a dollar store bargain bin and replaced his glitter with the reputation of a loser
Snyder must go. But instead his punishment has been reduced to penance. The NFL issued a $10 million fine, so gosh, poor Dan will have to put his next super yacht on hold, and he’s transferred day-to-day control of the team to his wife, Tanya.
Snyder continues to resist the body shots spread throughout the investigations and damning reports (those that have been published). He does so while he hides behind his wife, Commanders Chairman Jason Wright and conveniently scheduled memos to the employees. And he does it because he remains the impenetrable and indestructible owner of the Commanders.
Kicking the can down the halls of Congress, into more subpoenas and more statements, will never change that.
For almost two years now, we have been thrown into this spin cycle. The investigation into the Washington football franchise began in July 2020. And then came the NFL investigation, which took control of Washington’s own investigation. Then the congressional investigation into the investigation by the NFL.
Snyder didn’t show up Wednesday to answer questions about the investigation’s investigation, but his absence couldn’t stop this filthy theater from taking center stage. The show must go on. And in this particular case, where no heroes emerge, although the most bombastic elected officials, loyal only to their party’s talking points, enjoy their 15 minutes of camera time, it goes on and on. . . and in . . . Y . . . in.
Democrats grilled Goodell with questions he thought he had covered in his opening statement. They demanded yes or no answers, and Goodell, giving testimony via Zoom while he was framed by two fake plants, stammered through soliloquies before being interrupted. On the third break from him, Maloney provided the script for the day.”it is understood!” moment by revealing his intention to quote Snyder. After so many interruptions, Goodell seemed almost relieved to get into a nerdy conversation about PSI when Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Tex.) brought up Deflategate.
Fallon was being glib, naturally, calling the audience a “clown show.” Unfortunately for the country, the clowns of the day sat in a nearly empty room on Capitol Hill, behind their dog tags. And the one parked behind the “Mr. Jordan” thought this was the appropriate setting to question Goodell about the NFL’s alleged banning of Dave Portnoy from games and Jack Del Rio’s First Amendment rights.
It was the same lethargic and predictable barrage between Democrats, who continued to call for the publication of attorney Beth Wilkinson’s findings in her investigation of the Commanders, and Republicans, who kept repeating in their echo chamber how the world is ending under the Biden administration. However, Goodell and several Republican members of the committee agreed on one point: that Snyder has been an example and that the culture has been polished.
“The issues have been fixed,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) said during his closing statement.
Yet how could that be when the problem child is still in charge?
This was the same big, fat burger that was served in February, when several women and a man bravely showed their faces as they brought accusations of sexual harassment and assault directly against Snyder and the dogs he placed in power. They asked Congress to force the NFL to release the Wilkinson report, in the apparent hope that public scrutiny would convince 24 of the league’s 31 other owners to force Snyder to sell.
Without those billionaires willing to step up and kick Snyder out of his posh club, more political theater may follow. A subpoena for Snyder. Another letter from his lawyer informing the committee with regret about his very important work trip that cannot be missed. Another hearing where Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) can bring water for Portnoy and the Jan. 6 apologists.
Well-intentioned legislation may be passed to protect women and all workers, but it will mean little to the suffrage at the heart of this show. The power-crazed, workplace misconduct face of the Washington Commanders still remains proprietary. And no statement next week or the week after that will solve that problem.
next week we maybe get more theatre. But we definitely won’t get a resolution.