Daniel Snyder, the embattled owner of the Washington Football Team, has been in the news again recently for all the wrong reasons. No stranger to scandal, Snyder has now been accused of interfering with the 2021 investigation into the workplace environment of his organization. This is just another in a long list of controversies Snyder has found himself embroiled in, which include suing financially distressed season ticket holders during the Great Recession, banning fans from bringing signs to FedEx Field, and rebranding his franchise after its former namesake was retired. This, coupled with Washington’s lack of success during his tenure, has led some to label him the worst owner in all of professional sports.
The Washington Post interviewed me in July 2020 to get my take on “inherent question looms over the Washington NFL team’s investigation of its workplace culture: If owner Daniel Snyder is paying the law firm tasked with inspecting his franchise, how can the ensuing report be considered independent, as Snyder insists it will be?” Just last month, the Post reported Snyder used a bribe, intimidation and private investigators to thwart a probe into allegations of Washington Football Team workplace misconduct, Congress demanded answers from the NFL. I’ve addressed the subject matter in this civil litigation column twice before—in “When to Hire Outside Lawyers to Conduct an Internal Investigation” in November 2019 and revisiting the subject in April 2020. The recent report from the Post is a reminder that an internal investigation is more relevant now than ever.