The Sale is Done! Looking Back at the Washington Commanders with Daniel Snyder as their Owner

The National Football League is a league that’s well-known for its storied franchises, including the Washington Commanders. However, the now-former owner, Daniel Snyder, following his tumultuous history of controversy, disappointment, and a series of missteps has finally taken the leap to sell the Washington Commanders. For a whopping $6.05 billion the acquiring group is led by Josh Harris. Harris is currently the Managing Director of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. He also Co-Founded Apollo Global Management and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.

Josh Harris is known as an American internet entrepreneur, investor, sports-owner & artist best known for founding the online analytics company Jupiter Communications and the live-streaming video platform Pseudo Programs. Basically, Harris gained prominence during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Alongside for this acquisition includes former Los Angeles Lakers star & investor Magic Johnson, who took to Twitter shortly after the announcement. Now as Commanders fans get their wish of new ownership, we evacuate how we even got here in the first place. 

Daniel Snyder’s Acquisition of the Washington Commanders

In 1999, Daniel Snyder, a former advertising executive, made headlines when he purchased the Washington Commanders for a then-record $800 million. Snyder, who was just 34 years old at the time, became the youngest majority owner in NFL history.

Snyder’s purchase of the team was met with both excitement and skepticism. While some saw him as a fresh, young face who could inject new life into the franchise, others were wary of his lack of experience in professional sports ownership. However, Snyder quickly proved his critics wrong by making bold moves and investing heavily in the team.

The Early Years of Snyder’s Ownership

During his early years as owner, Snyder was seen as an energetic and passionate leader. He was known for his hands-on approach and his willingness to do whatever it took to make the team successful. Snyder invested heavily in the team, hiring high-profile coaches and signing expensive free agents. His enthusiasm for the team and his willingness to spend money quickly made him a fan favorite.

Snyder’s first major move as owner was the hiring of head coach Marty Schottenheimer in 2001. Schottenheimer was a respected coach with a proven track record, and his hiring was seen as a sign that Snyder was serious about turning the team around. However, Schottenheimer’s tenure with the team was short-lived, and he was fired after just one season.

Despite this setback, Snyder continued to invest in the team, hiring Steve Spurrier as head coach in 2002. Spurrier was a high-profile college coach with a reputation for innovative offensive schemes, and his hiring generated a great deal of excitement among fans. However, Spurrier’s tenure with the team was also short-lived, and he was fired after just two seasons.

Controversial Decisions and Public Backlash

While Snyder’s tenure as owner has been marked by some successes, it has also been marred by controversy. One of his most controversial decisions came in 2013 when he announced that the team would not change its name, despite mounting pressure from Native American groups and others who found the name offensive. Snyder argued that the name was meant to honor Native Americans, but the decision ultimately led to a public backlash.

The controversy surrounding the team’s name has continued to simmer in the years since Snyder’s announcement. In 2020, amid a national reckoning over racial injustice, the team announced that it would retire its old name and logo and adopt a new one. The team is currently known as the Washington Commanders, and Snyder has said that he hopes the new name will help to heal old wounds and bring fans together.

Despite the controversy surrounding the team’s name, Snyder has remained committed to the Washington Commanders and to the fans who support them. Where he could have sold the team three years ago and stayed out of the press, he continued to try and invest in the team, both on and off the field, and but by that point his reputation as an NFL owner was not salvageable amongst NFL players and the Washington Fans.

As the team looks to the future, Snyder exited might become a key figure in their success. 

Following the announcement of the sale, a statement from former Commanders Co-Owners Tanya and Dan Snyder stated:

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, an area native, and his impressive group of partners. We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”

Boom. A new sense of hope for fans after being acquired by an individual who had two other professional sports team make the playoffs in their respective leagues.

The Struggles on the Field

Despite Snyder’s investments in the team, the Washington Commanders have struggled on the field in recent years. The team has suffered a series of disappointing seasons, and its coaching and management have been unstable.

However, the struggles of the Washington Commanders go beyond just a few disappointing seasons. The team has had a history of underperformance dating back to the early 2000s. During this time, the team had only two winning seasons, and they were unable to make it past the divisional round of the playoffs.

A Series of Disappointing Seasons

Since Snyder took over as owner, the Washington Commanders have struggled to find success on the field. The team has only made the playoffs five times under Snyder’s ownership and has just two playoff wins. Furthermore, the team just squeezed in the playoffs in 2020 after not made the playoffs since 2015 and has finished with a losing record in seven of the last nine seasons. Both appearances concluded in a Wildcard Round exit.

One of the main reasons for the team’s lack of success has been its inability to find a franchise quarterback. The team has gone through a revolving door of quarterbacks in recent years, with no one able to establish themselves as a long-term solution. This has made it difficult for the team to build a consistent offense and compete at a high level.

Coaching and Management Instability

The team’s struggles have been exacerbated by instability among its coaching and management staff. Since Snyder took over as owner, the team has had eight head coaches and nine different General Managers, making it difficult to establish a consistent winning culture.

One of the most controversial coaching decisions came in 2019 when the team hired Jay Gruden’s brother, Jon Gruden, as head coach. Many fans and analysts felt that the team had hired Gruden based on his last name rather than his coaching ability. Gruden was fired after just one season, further adding to the team’s instability. If all was going to fail miserably you’d rather have his brother Jon for the amazing content at least.

High-Profile Player Disputes

The Washington Commanders have also been plagued by high-profile disputes with players. In 2020, the team released Pro Bowl running back Derrius Guice after he was arrested on domestic violence charges. In addition, the team’s handling of quarterback Kirk Cousins’ contract negotiations drew criticism from fans and analysts who felt that the team had mishandled the situation.

Off-the-field issues have also been a problem for the team. In 2013, the team was embroiled in controversy over its name, which many felt was offensive to Native Americans. The team eventually changed its name in 2020 to the Washington Commanders, but the controversy surrounding the team’s name and its handling of the situation left a lasting impact on the franchise.

Overall, the struggles of the Washington Commanders on the field have been a source of frustration for fans and ownership alike. While the team has made efforts to improve, such as hiring Ron Rivera as head coach in 2020, it remains to be seen whether the team can turn its fortunes around and become a consistent contender in the NFL. This has been their best coach in years, but who knows what changes are bound when there is a new sheriff in town.

The Name Change Controversy

In 2020, the Washington Commanders announced that they would be retiring their controversial name and logo, which had been the subject of much debate and criticism. The team consulted with Native American groups and others before announcing its new name and branding.

The Origins of the Washington Commanders Name

The team’s new name, the Washington Commanders, is a nod to the team’s history and tradition. The name “Commanders” is meant to signify strength, courage, and leadership, qualities that the team hopes to embody on and off the field.

The team’s history dates back to 1932 when they were first established as the Boston Braves. The team moved to Washington D.C. in 1937 and changed its name to the Washington Redskins in 1933. The name was meant to honor the team’s coach, William “Lone Star” Dietz, who claimed to be of Native American descent. However, over time, the name became controversial and was seen as a racial slur by many.

Public Pressure and Legal Battles

Public pressure played a significant role in the team’s decision to retire its old name and logo. Native American groups, politicians, and fans had been calling for the team to change its name for years, arguing that it was insensitive and offensive.

Legal battles also played a role in the name change. In 1992, seven Native Americans filed a lawsuit against the team, claiming that the name was disparaging and offensive. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed on a technicality, but it paved the way for future legal challenges.

The Rebranding Process and Fan Reactions

The team’s rebranding process was a long and involved one. The team consulted with Native American groups, historians, and branding experts to come up with a new name and logo that would be respectful and inclusive.

The team’s new logo features a stylized “W” with three stars, representing the three branches of the U.S. military. The team also announced that it would be retiring its old logo, which featured a Native American man with a feathered headdress.

Fan reactions to the new name and logo have been mixed. Some fans have praised the team’s decision to retire its old name and logo, while others have criticized the new name and logo. Some fans have even called for the team to revert to its old name and logo.

Regardless of fan reactions, the Washington Commanders are moving forward with their new name and branding. The team hopes that the new name and logo will help to build a more inclusive and respectful fan base, and that it will inspire the team to new heights of success on the field.

Workplace Misconduct Allegations

In 2020, a report by The Washington Post detailed widespread harassment and misconduct within the Washington Commanders’ organization, including allegations of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and bullying by team executives.

The allegations were shocking and disturbing, and they sent shockwaves throughout the NFL community. Fans were outraged that such behavior could occur within a professional sports organization, and many called for swift action to be taken against those responsible.

Reports of Harassment and Toxic Culture

As more details emerged about the allegations, it became clear that the Washington Commanders had a toxic workplace culture that allowed such behavior to occur. The team’s executives were accused of creating a hostile work environment, where employees were subjected to verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and other forms of misconduct.

Many former employees spoke out about their experiences with the team, describing a culture of fear and intimidation that made it difficult to speak out against the abuse they experienced. Some even reported being retaliated against for reporting the misconduct.

The NFL’s Investigation and Consequences

In response to the allegations, the NFL launched an investigation into the team’s workplace conduct. The investigation was conducted by independent investigators, who interviewed current and former employees of the team.

The investigation found that the team had indeed engaged in misconduct, and as a result, the team was fined $10 million. Several team executives were also forced to resign or were fired as a result of the investigation.

The consequences of the investigation were severe, and they sent a clear message to other NFL teams that such behavior would not be tolerated. However, many fans and critics argued that the punishment did not go far enough, and that team owner Daniel Snyder should have been held more accountable for the team’s actions.

Snyder’s Response and Attempts at Damage Control

Despite the severity of the allegations, Snyder denied any wrongdoing and attempted to distance himself from the situation. He released a statement condemning the behavior and promising to take steps to improve the team’s workplace culture.

Since then, the team has taken several steps to improve its workplace culture, including hiring a new team president and creating an independent committee to oversee workplace conduct. The team has also implemented new policies and procedures to prevent harassment and misconduct from occurring in the future.

While these steps are a positive sign, many fans and critics remain skeptical of the team’s commitment to change. Some argue that more needs to be done to hold those responsible for the misconduct accountable, and that the team’s leadership needs to take a more active role in addressing the issue.

In conclusion, the Washington Commanders have had a turbulent history with Daniel Snyder as their owner. While Snyder’s early years as owner were marked by enthusiasm and investment in the team, the team has struggled on the field and has been plagued by controversy and instability. The team’s decision to retire its old name and logo was a step in the right direction, but the team still has work to do to regain the trust of fans and the broader NFL community.

Only time will tell if this change will bring any change on the horizon for Washington football. If there is one thing we do know is that next management will come in with the efforts to improve not only their winning, but the organizations overall culture. Whether that is on the football field or in the workplace. It is good that the Snyder’s found a reputable partner like Harris for the fans as now maybe their prayers for a competent football team can come into fruition.


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