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Dan Snyder: Jim Irsay says Washington Commanders owner's removal from NFL should be given 'serious consideration'

Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders are the subject of ongoing investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct; a team statement in response to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, said: "There is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won't"

FILE - Washington Commanders' Dan Snyder poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md.
Image: Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders are the subject of separate ongoing investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has said "there's merit to remove" Dan Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and it should be given "serious consideration" by the NFL.

Snyder has been the owner of the Washington franchise since 1999. Both he and the team are the subject of separate ongoing investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct, being conducted by the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform and by former attorney Mary Jo White, on behalf of the NFL.

The NFL conducted an initial independent investigation into the team in 2020, undertaken by attorney Beth Wilkinson's firm, which found Washington's workplace culture to be toxic. Snyder and the team were fined $10m but no written report of Wilkinson's findings was released.

The lack of a written report prompted Congress to investigate. Congress also hosted a roundtable in February, during which there was a new allegation of sexual misconduct made against Snyder by a former team employee. He denies the allegation.

Irsay, speaking to reporters at the NFL's Fall League Meeting in New York on Tuesday, is the first owner to publicly state his position on Snyder.

"I believe that there's merit to remove him as owner," Irsay said. "It pains me to see it - the founders of this league taught me, 'You have to protect the game, you have to protect what we're about.' This isn't what we're about.

"I think it's something that we have to review, we have to look at all the evidence and we have to be thorough going forward, but I think it's something that has to be given serious consideration."

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Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner
Image: Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has spoken out against Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders

The removal of an owner from the NFL requires a three-fourths vote from ownership (24 out of 32 votes). Team owners did not vote on the matter on Tuesday, and Snyder was not in attendance at the meeting.

Asked if he thought there would be enough support from others to remove Snyder, Irsay said: "I think potentially there will be. But we will see.

"I don't know how long it will take. Certainly we're going to be thorough and look at everything. It could be at the March meeting - I don't know - but I know we want to be thorough and look at everything carefully."

He added: "I just think once owners talk among each other they will arrive at the right decision. Unfortunately, I believe that's the road we probably need to go down and we just need to finish the investigation, but its gravely concerning to me the things that have occurred there over the last 20 years."

Commanders: Irsay comments 'highly inappropriate'

The Commanders issued the following statement on Tuesday in response to Irsay's comments, saying: "It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr Irsay opted to make statements publicly based on falsehoods in the media.

"It is unfortunate that Mr Irsay decided to go public with his statement today, while an investigation is in process, and the team has had no opportunity to respond to allegations.

"The Commanders have made remarkable progress over the past two years. We are confident that when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won't."

Irsay's comments come less than a week after ESPN published an article alleging Snyder had told people close to him he has negative information on fellow NFL owners and league executives, including commissioner Roger Goodell.

Snyder described the allegations in the article as "patently false" in a letter he sent to NFL ownership on Tuesday.

"That is intended to erode the trust and goodwill between owners that I take quite seriously," Snyder added.

"I have never hired any private investigator to look into any owner or the commissioner. I have never instructed or authorized my lawyers to hire any private investigator on my behalf for any such purpose. And I never would."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Image: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters there is no timeline for the completion of the investigation into the Washington Commanders

Goodell told reporters on Tuesday there is no timeline for the completion of White's investigation into Snyder and the Commanders.

When asked for his thoughts on Irsay's comments, Goodell said "speculation without facts is not a very positive thing to do".

"It's an ongoing investigation," Goodell added. "When Mary Jo White is done we will share that with the membership and share it publicly as we committed to before.

"And I was very clear there was no reason for there to be any speculation at this point in time or discussion until we have the facts. That was my message to the ownership and there was little or no discussion."

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