Washington Commanders owners announced Wednesday that they hired Bank of America in a big step toward a potential sale of the troubled NFL franchise.
“Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Commanders announced today that they have hired BofA Securities to consider potential trades,” a team statement said.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees, and its countless fans to bring the best product to the field and continue the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
In recent years, the team has been the target of multiple workplace culture studies, leading to calls for the Snyders to sell.
Snyder bought the once-proud franchise for the 1999 season, taking over a club that has won three Super Bowl titles.
Only six other NFL franchises have won more modern professional football titles than Washington. But Snyder’s tenure was marked by poor results and several scandals off the field.
The team has not even made it to a conference title game under Snyder’s regime and is now on a run for five consecutive losing seasons.
Fans of Commanders “will have a parade when they sell the team”, tweeted former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of Snyder’s most famous players.
Retired cornerback and former union president Domonique Foxworth urged the NFL to find a Black-led business group to buy the team.
Maryland native Foxworth said the team has struggled for years to win over black fans in a very diverse market. The District of Columbia is almost half black and Washington was the last NFL team to integrate.
“Generations of black DC fans have been raised as Cowboys fans because it took until 1962 for Washington’s first black player,” Foxworth wrote:.
Rebellious for years Snyder resisted calls to rename his clubwho had used a slur for Native Americans as a nickname and mascot.
The team finally succumbed to public pressure in 2020 and changed the name to Commanders last year.
Off the field, the team has been accused by multiple former employees of fostering a toxic, misogynistic workplace.
The allegations led to congressional hearings that shone and unflattering light on the club earlier this year.
A congressional report accused Snyder of conducting a “shadow investigation” of employees speaking out against the team’s “toxic workplace” in an attempt to influence the NFL’s assessment of sexual harassment allegations.
Two weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts CEO Jim Irsay became the first NFL owner to publicly call for Snyder to be forced out of the league. There is “merit to remove” Snyder as commander-owner, said the owner of the Colts.
Snyder and the team fired back at Irsaysaying “there’s no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise.”
The Commanders have won four of their first eight games so far this season. It’s a slight overachievement for a team expected by some to win only seven or eight of his 17 games this season.
Janhvi Bhojwanic and Steve Kopack contributed.