NFL Owner Dan Snyder Says He Has Enough Dirt on Other Men to ‘Blow Up’ the Whole League

“The NFL is a mafia,” the embattled Washington Commanders owner recently told an associate, according to ESPN. “All the owners hate each other.”

NFL Owner Dan Snyder Says He Has Enough Dirt on Other Men to ‘Blow Up’ the Whole League
Photo:John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images (Getty Images)

We already know that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder is one of the most vile figures in the NFL. Now, according to a new investigative report from ESPN, we know that most of Snyder’s fellow team owners find him loathsome, too—perhaps in part because he’s claiming to hold secrets about all of them that could ruin their careers and lives.

Snyder and the culture he enabled at the Commanders have been in hot water ever since a Washington Post report revealed numerous allegations of systemic sexual harassment and multiple incidents of misconduct, including some former cheerleaders who said executives created videos of them partially exposed, made inappropriate comments towards them, and asked them to flirt with suiteholders. After Congress began investigating the team’s culture, as well as the NFL’s handling of the allegations, Snyder refused to testify and disappeared—until he was eventually tracked down on his megayacht, the 305-foot Lady S, which costs $1.4 million per week to rent with a 33-person crew and was docked off the French coast near Cannes.

ESPN reported Tuesday that sources close to Snyder say this behavior is common when he feels cornered:

He paces in a hotel suite, or on his superyacht, or at River View, his $48 million Virginia estate. Cradling a drink in one hand, he tells members of his inner circle about the dirt he has accumulated on fellow owners, coaches, executives, even his own employees—all the stuff he’s learned from other sources, including private investigative firms. He never says exactly what he knows, only that in his 23 years as owner of the Washington Commanders, he knows a lot. And that in the zero-sum world of billionaires, this is how you survive. Snyder recently told a close associate that he has gathered enough secrets to “blow up” several NFL owners, the league office and even commissioner Roger Goodell.

“The NFL is a mafia,” Snyder recently told an associate, according to ESPN. “All the owners hate each other.”

“That’s not true,” one veteran owner countered. “All the owners hate Dan.”

Snyder is convinced that neither the NFL or its owners can “fuck with” him, sources say the embattled businessman has told them privately. Now that the tides have turned against Snyder in his two-year-long saga to blow past allegations of sexual assault, Snyder has reportedly told his associates that he won’t go down without a fight that would end “with multiple casualties.” When those close to Snyder asked why he wouldn’t just sell the team, take the several billion-dollar fortune from a hypothetical sale, and run, the answer comes down to Snyder literally being stubborn. “It’s his identity,” a source told ESPN. Snyder not only has no shame, the source said, “he simply doesn’t care that he’s hated. In fact, he revels in it.”

The long read ultimately paints a picture of a man who is “seemingly devoid of true friends,” was viewed by a veteran owner as “Arrogant. Obnoxious. Standoffish. Selfish,” and, in the view of former Washington executives, a lonely man who really, really hates The Washington Post.

Snyder reportedly told one owner directly that he “has dirt on Jerry Jones,” the Dallas Cowboys owner, while another source confirmed that Snyder has said he has “a file” on Jones. Others claim that Snyder has hired or authorized private investigators to keep tabs on another team’s owner and league office executives, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (A Commanders spokesperson and Snyder’s lawyers denied these claims.) “He’s behaving like a mad dog cornered,” one source said.

“This is what happens when you get into business with bad people,” another fellow owner told ESPN of Snyder. “They know he’ll burn their houses down.”

One of the executives ESPN spoke added that the owners had mainly turned against Snyder, not because of the sexual misconduct allegations, but because of his “poor financial showing.” Team owners are willing to look the other way on Jones’ own alleged misconduct, including the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader voyeurism scandal and a lawsuit by a 25-year-old woman who says Jones is her father, because his “vision for growing the NFL pie has made rich men richer.” One owner conceded that the toxic workplace environment at the Commanders is “not a good look for the league,” but did not offer sympathy to the women who were harassed.

In other words, it’s just another day in the NFL, where profits will always matter more than people and their safety.

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