Dan Snyder NFL Spying Scandal Explained

Dan Snyder (full name Daniel Marc Snyder) is the owner of the Washington Commanders NFL team (formerly the Washington Redskins and the Washington Football Team) based in Landover, Maryland. Snyder has a reported net worth of $4.9 billion while the value of the Commanders is reportedly $5.6 billion.

Snyder has been the subject of multiple controversies during his time as an owner in the NFL, including a cheerleading scandal where it was alleged his team used cheerleaders as escorts for sponsors and wealthy fans.

Snyder was accused in a report of spying on NFL owners, attempting to dig up “dirt” on them in retaliation for ongoing investigations into his ownership of the team.

Carson Wentz – Washington Commanders QB
Carson Wentz – Washington Commanders QB

Report: Snyder Claimed He Had “Dirt” On NFL Owners

In an October 2022 report ESPN said a source close to Snyder alleged that the owner had dug up secrets on NFL owners and that he had enough information to “blow up” other owners. According to ESPN’s source, Snyder told them, “They can’t fuck with me.”

ESPN also reported that their source said Snyder said, “The NFL is a mafia” and “All the owners hate each other.”

ESPN reported that multiple NFL owners and executives alleged that Snyder told the law firms that he employs to hire private investigators to obtain information about NFL owners. The order reportedly came at the same time that Snyder has been under investigation for issues involving sexual harassment and misconduct that led to a fine from the NFL.

The report from ESPN said one source alleged that at least six owners, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, were the subject of the purported investigations. One source told the outlet that Snyder had “a file” on Jones.

ESPN’s report also cited a source that said Snyder bragged about digging up information NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

NFL reporter Jim Trotter said that the issue has been an “open secret” in the NFL and that the reason the league has not pushed to have Snyder removed is that owners are “afraid that he has dirt on others.”

Jerry Jones – Dallas Cowboys Owner
Jerry Jones – Dallas Cowboys Owner

Jerry Jones Response To Spying Report

In a radio interview, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was dismissive of the report on Snyder’s alleged spying.

“I don’t have that background at all, and so I don’t have anything to say about it other than I don’t know where people got the supposed resource from me,” said Jones. “I can only speak to that. I can’t speak to anything else that was said there. I’ve got a long relationship with Dan. It’s certainly a competitive one on the field, and one that is part of the NFL. Anything in that was news to me. And I don’t have those kinds of problems, but if . . . . anybody wants to put something in my car or wants listen to something on the phone, get in line. Because I’m surely there’s a lot of it out there.”

Snyder Claimed Spying Allegations Were “Patently False”

In an email sent to NFL owners in October 2022 ahead of the league’s meetings, Snyder denied the allegations that were made in the ESPN report.

“There is one allegation in the ESPN article that I feel it is important to address immediately,” Snyder wrote. “The article cited unnamed sources who said, ‘They’ve been told that Snyder instructed his law firms to hire private investigators to look into other owners’ and Commissioner Goodell. That is patently false and intended to erode the trust and goodwill between owners that I take quite seriously. I have never hired any private investigator to look into any owner or the Commissioner. I have never instructed or authorized my lawyers to hire any private investigator on my behalf for any such purpose. And I never would.”

Colts Owner: “Merit” To Remove Snyder As Owner

After reports of the spying allegation emerged, Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, said that there was “merit” for the move to remove Snyder as an NFL team owner.

24 of the NFL’s 32 owners have to agree in a vote to have an owner removed.

Video: Jim Irsay on possible removal of Commanders owner Dan Snyder

Speaking to reporters before the league’s winter meeting of owners, Irsay said, “I believe there is merit to removing him as owner of the [Commanders], there’s consideration that he should be removed.”

Irsay did not cite the spying allegations as his reasoning, but rather the ongoing investigations into alleged misconduct by the team.

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