I don’t mean to go down a whole rabbit hole dive into corporate personhood, but team owners infuse their NFL franchises with personalities. The Dallas Cowboys exude Jerry Jones’ swashbuckling oilman bravado, the Pittsburgh Steelers have ingrained the Rooney family’s consistency and competence into their DNA and the Los Angeles Rams operate like a flush Fortune 500 company scooping up lucrative contracts teams are trying to dump.
One of the reasons the Washington Re–, Footba–, errr.. Commanders have been abandoned by their fanbase over the past decade had nothing to do with the name change or the compiling losses and aimless roster construction, or the revolving door of personnel. Those are only marginal reasons why fan interest has waned over the last decade.
Organizationally, the Commanders carry themselves like reprobates and losers. After a decade of Dan Snyder’s influence, his selfish proclivities, vitriolic personality, and lascivious unprofessional behavior had permeated the C-Suite and trickled down from there. From Bruce Allen’s bigoted emails to former radio announcer Larry Michael’s lewd cheerleader video scandal, FBI raids, legal counsel’s shenanigans, Dan Snyder’s numerous legal woes, Washington is awash in ineptitude and imbeciles.
On Wednesday night, we bore witness to the growing reach of Snyder’s narcissism. While team owners run organizations for profit, they at least give the appearance of being concerned with how they’re perceived in the community, the Commanders are obsequious to Snyder’s ego above all, even if it means alienating the aforementioned D.C. community and their players.
In response to a report that the D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine would be making a major announcement on Thursday at 1 p.m., the Commanders released one of the most despicable self-serving PR statements in recent history. The Commanders attempted to use Brian Robinson’s shooting to “What about Chicago” their own city’s AG and shot themselves in the foot in the process.
“Less than three months ago, a 23-year-old player on our team was shot multiple times, in broad daylight,” the statement began. “Despite the out-of-control violent crime in DC, today the Washington Commanders learned for the first time on Twitter that the D.C. Attorney General will be holding a press conference to ‘make a major announcement’ related to the organization tomorrow.”
Worse than their statement confusing one of D.C. Metropolitan Police’s duties solving violent crimes with the attorney general’s, the Commanders insulted law enforcement in their salty clap back. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that the Commanders hired real-life facsimiles for Bob Loblaw and Saul Goodman. The only thing this organization knows how to do anymore is sling hot grease at its season-ticket owners, fans, the media and anyone else who threatens Snyder’s immunity from consequences.
PR is designed to improve one’s public image. The Commanders operate like the Party of Trump. The people and the employees of the organization are second to the leader. Team president Jason Wright — get out while you can — attempted to lay blame at the foot of the legal counsel, which highlights another department Snyder has torched. But the statement is par for the course for the Commanders.
We’ve become inured to the Commanders’ Trumpian defiance in response to any inquiry that we forget how uniquely awful this organization is. However, the invocation of rookie Brian Robinson’s shooting upset players and Robinson’s agent.
Washington’s retort makes sense after Thursday’s press conference in which A.G. Racine disclosed that his office would be filing a civil complaint against Snyder, the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell for violating the D.C. Consumer Protection Act.
From the lawyers to the C-Suite, Snyder’s Stercorarius touch has made the Commanders radioactive. It’s almost unheard of for attorney generals to be swarming around an entire organization. The D.C. AG’s suit is just the latest unexploded ordnance in the corner of the room that the players now have to ignore to focus on football.
FedEx Field probably has a separate office just for Snyder’s subpoenas and this suit will be thrown on top of a myriad of other investigations.
According to Racine, there will be subpoenas and, “the deposition won’t take place on a yacht,” which was a direct shot at Snyder’s attempt to avoid a Congressional subpoena by hiding on his $200 million luxury seat sea vessel.
To clarify, the D.C. AG’s lawsuit differs from the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District’s criminal inquiry. There are multiple threats to Snyder’s team. This lawsuit was filed on grounds that the Commanders violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Act, which covers any material misstatement that any merchant makes that could impact the consumers in the District of Columbia.
According to Racine, Snyder’s repulsive behavior, penchant for cover-ups, and the NFL’s cooperation in hiding Snyder’s conduct, as well as his attempts to silence witnesses violate the DCCPA. The civil charges may seem minor, but the NFL’s injection into Racine’s lawsuit is the latest volume in a tome of Goodell and owners having to answer for Snyder. (Commanders attorneys issued a statement, and NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league rejects the allegations.) At some point, enough has to become enough. Even U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has his DOJ’s sights set on the Commanders’ possible financial malfeasance. The walls are closing in on Snyder, it’s just a matter of what gets him first.