Washington Football Team’s Continued Woes Leave Future Uncertain


Dan Snyder (left) hands head coach Ron Rivera the game ball after Washington's Sunday victory over the Eagles. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Joey Olesker, Contributing Writer

What makes a quality sports franchise? Is it championships, effective leadership, fan support or all of the above? Currently, the Washington Football Team is finding itself in multiple conundrums on many fronts. Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Football Team, has a losing record of 142-193-1 since acquiring the team in 1999. The Washington Football Team has started 15 quarterbacks and has hired eight head coaches in a 20 year time period. And this is just the on-field aspect of the woes faced by the organization.

In July, the Washington Football Team decided to retire their former name and logo after 87 years. This was as a result of many sponsors, including Nike, Pepsi and Fedex (the sponsor of their stadium), advocating for the name to be changed,  saying they would no longer be affiliated with the team if the change was not made. The issue of the former nickname had been an ongoing debate as a group of fans and Native Americans had been pressuring ownership to change the name for years. Snyder, in 2013, stated that he would “never change the name.” However, business implications seemed to have forced him to change his mind.

Weeks after the name change, The Washington Post published an article detailing sexual harassment inside the organization. 15 former female employees and two journalists spoke out and accused former team staffers of harassment. Snyder was not a name mentioned in relation to sexual harassment claims, but he was accused of fostering a culture that allowed for these actions to be done. An internal investigation was launched by Snyder to look into these claims.

However, in another article published by The Washington Post in August, 25 former female employees made claims regarding sexual harassment, and this time Dan Snyder was mentioned along with others. It detailed that Snyder and other employees made videos of undressed cheerleaders at swimsuit calendar shoots. Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, strongly condemned the inappropriate and unprofessional behavior as well as the workplace environment. He also mentioned that the NFL would be conducting an independent investigation regarding the many claims against the team.

The big question looming around after these events is: Will Dan Snyder be forced to sell the team? As of now, he is still the owner of the team and was seen handing the new coach, Ron Rivera, the game ball after Washington’s incredible 27-17 comeback victory over the Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 14. However, it seems that we will not know the official answer until the NFL concludes its investigation against the Washington Football Team.