NFL Team Owner Slapped With $60 Million Fine After Investigation
After a lengthy investigation, Washington Commanders owner will pay a hefty fine.
Daniel Snyder, an American businessman, has owned the Washington Commanders (formally the Redskins) since 1999. This week, he sold the franchise to a group led by Josh Harris, for a whopping $6.06 billion – the largest sale in sports franchise history. However, the billionaire was also forced to pay a hefty fine to the tune of $60 million for allegedly engaging in illegal behavior.
Attorney Mary Jo White has been investigating allegations against Snyder for 17 months. This week she determined that the team withheld revenue it should have shared with other franchises and that Snyder sexually harassed a former team employee.
White also determined that the Commanders failed to cooperate with her investigation. While she was able to interview Snyder last month, she was only allotted a single hour, which she details in a 22-page document explaining her decision.
"I think that the findings speak for themselves," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a news conference. "We had an obligation to release those publicly. We did. We shared those with the ownership today [and] had a full discussion of that. The findings do speak for themselves. In both cases, particularly with Ms. Johnston, that's inappropriate. It's wrong. It doesn't match our values. … Her findings were clear."
According to Goodell, the fine covers everything. "The payment that will be made will be in resolution of the Mary Jo White findings as well as the resolution of all outstanding matters," he said.
In February 2022, Tiffani Johnston, a former cheerleader turned marketing manager for the Commanders, testified in front of Congress that she had been harassed by Snyder at a team dinner. She said he put his hand on her thigh and pressing her toward his limo. However, Snyder vehemently denied the accusations, claiming they were "outright lies."
A few months later in April, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability detailed allegations made by Jason Friedman, a former ticket and sales executive for the team, that Snyder was responsible for financial improprieties between the years of 2009 and 2015.
"Over three years ago, our clients bravely came forward to expose the egregious sexual harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders, and today they can claim total vindication," attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent Johnston, Friedman and other former Commanders employees, said in a statement. "Dan Snyder has been forced to sell the team he said he would never sell, pay a massive fine to the NFL and there now exists an extensive public record of his personal wrongdoing and the misconduct that occurred under his leadership."