Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder responded strongly to the latest report from The Washington Post, which provided detailed first-hand accounts from witnesses who directly contradict Snyder’s claims that he was “hands-off” as an owner.
When then the NFL fined Snyder $10 million in July 2021 for being in charge during years of the organization’s “toxic culture“, Snyder admitted that he was “too hands-off” in his role as a team owner.
However, The Washington Post found testimonies provided by witnesses presented in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that directly contradict that assertion.
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Dave Pauken, who served as Washington’s chief operating officer from 2001 to 2006, described a different experience during his tenure. According to testimony obtained by The Washington Post, Pauken compared the workplace dynamic to “an abusive relationship” and Snyder was directly involved.
Pauken was also asked under oath about Snyder’s previous statement that said he was too “hands-off” as an owner and that was his responsibility for the toxic culture.
“I have no experience with him, nor do any of my colleagues, where he was hands off.”Dan Pauken on Daniel Snyder saying he was “hands off” as an owner
Pauken, who spent a decade working for Snyder, also shared allegations of direct misconduct and inappropriate behavior by Snyder. Appearing before the committee, he said Snyder called him gay for hiring “ugly” cheerleaders and mocked him when he urged the team to have the cheerleaders wear less risque clothing.
He also claimed Snyder had him pour mil under the seat of Mark Lerner so it would create a rancid smell under Lerner’s seat after Snyder believed he was overcharged by Lerner in a land deal.
Another former Washington executive, Jason Friedman, saw a change in the culture when it changed hands to the Snyder family. In his testimony, he said Snyder created a culture that “sort of glorified drinking and womanizing.”
Several other witnesses provided testimony with different experiences alleging Snyder’s direct involvement in the toxic culture.
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Daniel Snyder responds to allegations
The Washington Post reached out to Snyder’s representation for comment on the allegations that were provided by the committee. In response, Snyder’s spokesperson blasted the paper for going out of its way to “assail his character” and said the changes Snyder has made since have been ignored.
While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has already testified in front of the committee, also facing questions from Republican members about the ‘woke’ NFL culture, Snyder has still not appeared. He is now facing a subpoena with no firm date scheduled for his testimony before members of Congress.
Related: Daniel Snyder subpoenaed, accused of blocking information from investigators