Several NFL entities—including Roger Goodell and Dan Snyder—are being sued by the DC Attorney General.
In a major development, Washington DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced his office is suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, the NFL, and the Commanders on Thursday afternoon.
Tea Tweet announcing the lawsuit indicated that the allegation is that the league and Commanders colluded to deceive DC residents regarding an investigation into the Commanders’ workplace culture.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
“Racine said the team and league violated DC consumers’ rights based on what they knew about the organization’s workplace misconduct, alleging Snyder lied about his knowledge of the situation.”
Reportedly, a major issue at play is whether or not the results of an investigation into workplace culture were able to be vetoed by management or unreleased to the primary “consumers” of the brand, Commanders fans.
“Dan Snyder assured fans that he would fully cooperate with the investigation and the results could be trusted,” one of the posters read. “That was a lie: He repeatedly attempted to interfere, and the fans could not trust the results that were never made public. Because Snyder had a veto.”
Commanders future likely to be brighter under new owner
Recently, the Commanders announced they were considering options to sell the team. Snyder has been known as one of the worst owners in the league, with Colts owner Jim Irsay even calling him out as a stain this season.
FanSided’s Matt Verderame penned a column discussing how the sale of the team will not only rid the league of one of its most harmful owners, but also appreciate the valuations of other clubs in the process.
Surely, it’ll be hard for the next owner in Washington to be as bad as Snyder has been.
League’s inclusion in the lawsuit is interesting
The fact that Goodell and the league are defendants in the suit is interesting because it implies the league had a meaningful part to do with the alleged cover-up of the investigation’s results.
Goodell and the league office are technically in-place to serve the best interests of the owners — where the NFLPA is in-place to protect the players. This lawsuit covers a piece of that puzzle that has certainly gone ignored in DC: The fans.
Though market forces should incentivize team owners to act in the best interest of fans, that has not always been the case, and the fact that the Commanders are a historic franchise in a large market has protected from fanbase attrition even with irresponsible ownership.
Racine going to bat for the fans is a compelling and, on its face, noble step, but how things play out will ultimately determine if this was truly for the fans or not.