NEW YORK – For the first time, an NFL owner has publicly called for serious consideration of removing Washington’s Dan Snyder from the NFL ownership.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay held an explosive interview at fall meetings and described Snyder’s mistakes as the owner, especially with workplace misconduct, “extremely troubling.”
“I think there is an advantage to removing him as the owner of [Commanders]”There is a consideration that he should be sacked,” Irsai said from the hotel lobby in Conrad New York Downtown.
Irsay said Mary Jo White’s investigations into Washington’s years of alleged workplace misconduct and financial irregularities under Snyder were at the root of the problem, stressing that the league “potentially” had a majority vote of owners to fire Snyder. White is a former district attorney investigating the matter on behalf of the NFL.
The league requires 24 of the 32 owners to agree to such a vote, which has not been done at the NFL level.
Irsay said there will be no vote at Tuesday’s meetings and that the owners need to know more about where the investigation is.
A recent ESPN investigation detailed it while plotting Snyder’s clever plans against his fellow owners, using private investigators to get “dirt” from their past.
“Some of the things I’ve heard don’t represent us at all,” Irsai said. “I want the American public to know what we’re up to as owners. … You can’t get away from the fact that, I think it’s in the best interest of the NFL to look this straight in the eyes and deal with it.”
The vote could come once the winter meetings, Irsay said, who said owners should receive a comprehensive and detailed report on the condition.
“That’s not what we stand for in the NFL. I think the owners are often drawn incorrectly by different people and different situations. That’s not what we’re about.”
A spokesman for the leaders called Irsai’s comments “inappropriate” and said the results of the current investigations would make Irsai see Snyder in a better light.
“It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr. Ersay chose to make public statements based on lies in the media,” the leaders’ spokesman said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Ersay decided to make his statement public today, while an investigation is underway, and the team has not had the opportunity to formally respond to the allegations. Leaders have made remarkable progress over the past two years. We are confident that when he has a chance to see the actual evidence in this case Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for Snyders to consider selling the franchise. Nor will they.”
Irsay said Snyder’s cases have a “long, long history,” and that allegations of workplace misconduct span more than a decade. In July, Snyder began testifying before a congressional committee investigating the team’s history. The hearing was not public.
White’s workplace investigations and financial allegations are still ongoing. Irsay said league owners should be “updated more comprehensively and clearly”.
While Irsai wasn’t sure if Snyder could be persuaded to sell the team, he said the owners had “total power” to remove him from his seat.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to address the media at the conclusion of Tuesday’s meetings.
“This is a situation before us and we have to act,” Ersay said. “To protect and be an example of what we want to be.”
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