Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos ‘line up a sensational joint bid for the NFL’s Commanders’ as embattled owner Dan Snyder explores sale of $5.6b team amid probe into sexual harassment and financial malpractice accusations
- Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos are reportedly interested in buying the NFL’s Commanders
- TMZ, which first reported the news, claims that a joint bid is ‘on the table’
- Dan Snyder is considering selling the NFL team after years of controversy
- It’s unclear if he wants to sell all, or a minority stake, of the franchise
- Forbes values the team at roughly $5.6 billion, but Snyder could get more
- Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com
Both Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos are reportedly interested in buying the NFL’s Washington Commanders from embattled owner Dan Snyder.
TMZ, which first reported the news, claims that a joint bid between the 52-year-Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter and the 58-year-old Bezos is ‘on the table.’
Snyder is considering selling the NFL franchise following years of controversy surrounding everything from the team name to accusations of sexual harassment. It remains unclear if he would sell the entire team or if he’s just looking to add a minority partner.
Snyder has retained Bank of America to sell the Commanders, the club announced Wednesday.
The 57-year-old billionaire already has four interested potential buyers, Forbes reports. The Commanders (4-4) are worth roughly $5.6 billion – sixth best among NFL teams – according to Forbes. Snyder bought the club for a reported $800 million in 1999.
A spokesman for the rapper and Snyder did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Both Jay-Z and Jeff Bezos are reportedly interested in buying the NFL’s Washington Commanders from embattled owner Dan Snyder
Embattled Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder (pictured with wife, Tanya) is considering selling the NFL franchise following years of controversy surrounding everything from the team name to accusations of sexual harassment. It remains unclear if he would sell the entire team or if he’s just looking to add a minority partner
A fan holds up a sign for CEO and founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos during a game between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins at FedExField on November 17, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. Bezos was linked to a potential sale at the time, but it never came to fruition
Both Jay-Z and Bezos were previously rumored to be interested in buying NFL teams, but instead made moves to partner with the league.
In 2019, the NFL announced a partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to organize live performances at league games, such as the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Bezos, who ranks among the world’s richest men with an estimated net worth of $120 billion, owns Amazon, which bought the rights to Thursday Night Football for $1 billion per season.
An NFL spokesman did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s question asking if their existing deals with the league would preclude Jay-Z and Bezos from becoming team owners.
The Commanders are currently facing a litany of scandals, including a federal probe into allegations of financial malpractice. Previously, attorney generals in Virginia and Washington D.C. announced similar probes into claims that Snyder withheld refundable deposits from ticket holders and hid revenue from NFL teams.
News of a potential sale follows comments from Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay urging the NFL to remove Snyder as Commanders owner. Speaking at last month’s league meetings in New York, Irsay said ‘there’s merit’ to booting Snyder, who ranks as one of the least popular owners in professional sports.
For starters, the Commanders have been terrible since Snyder bought the club in 1999. Washington, a three-time Super Bowl winner and five-time NFL champion, has reached the postseason only six times over Snyder’s tenure. The current head coach, Ron Rivera, is Snyder’s 10th since taking control of the team.
The reference to the ‘gold standard for workplaces in the NFL’ is curious, given that the team is under investigation by Congress over sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims
A Washington Commanders fan holds up a sign before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Indianapolis
A Washington Commanders fan looks on while wearing a sign that reads ‘Sell The Team’ during the second quarter between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago
The team’s former minority owners consisted of FedEx Corp. CEO Fred Smith, Black Diamond Capital chairman Robert Rothman (right) and NVR Inc. board chairman Dwight Schar (left), who controlled a combined 40 percent stake worth roughly $1.4billion, according to Forbes’ $3.4billion valuation in 2019. They have since sold their shares to Snyder amid a contentious breakup between the ownership group
FedEx Corp. CEO Fred Smith (pictured) thought he found a buyer for the Commanders in 2020, but the deal was never finalized because Snyder was refusing to sell at the time
Throughout Snyder’s tenure, the team has been criticized for its now-former nickname, the Redskins, which is considered offensive to Native Americans.
The Washington team finally rebranded in 2022 as the Commanders after dropping its Redskins name in 2020 under a wave scrutiny following the George Floyd protests.
In 2021, Snyder bought out minority partners Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman for a reported $875 million after years of infighting.
Smith, Schar and Rothman have been hoping to sell their shares for much of 2020. In fact, Smith reportedly negotiated a $900 million sale for the shares, according to the Washington Post, but Snyder blocked the sale, prompting Smith, Schar and Rothman to sue him in federal court.
In response, Snyder sued an Indian media company, MEA Worldwide, claiming they took part in a smear campaign against him that was organized by Schar in order to force him to sell his stake.
The club currently faces a criminal investigation in Virginia, where the Commanders are accused of financial malpractice for allegedly swindling season ticket holders out of security deposits and improperly withholding ticket revenue from NFL teams. The Commanders have denied these claims.
Redskins cheerleaders seen dancing as part of a 2004 event, where Tiffany Bacon Scourby claims Snyder suggested she spend some time with a close friend of his in a nearby hotel room
Furthermore, the Commanders are the subject of a congressional investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace allegations.
Various reports have detailed claims of sexual harassment made by female ex-employees against male co-workers and supervisors, many of whom have since been dismissed.
Sexual harassment allegations against team employees ranged from inappropriate comments to the creation of a lewd behind-the-scenes video from a cheerleader calendar shoot in 2008, according to a 2020 Washington Post report that first publicized the claims.
Furthermore, a former cheerleader also alleged that team owner Dan Snyder suggested that she join his ‘close friend’ in a hotel room in 2004 so they ‘could get to know each other.’
Those revelations prompted a team investigation handled independently by DC-area attorney Beth Wilkinson, but the league quickly assumed control of that probe with Wilkinson’s team reporting to the commissioner’s office.
The NFL then issued a $10 million fine to punish the club (which is worth an estimated $4.2 billion) and Snyder volunteered to cede day-to-day control of the team to his wife, Tanya.
Ex-Commanders employee Tiffani Johnston told Congress’ Oversight Committee that Snyder once groped her thigh during a team dinner and pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back. Snyder has denied the allegation
But the league’s refusal to release a report on its investigation, citing privacy concerns of witnesses, prompted the Oversight Committee to launch its own investigation into the team, Snyder, and even the NFL.
That investigation has led to more allegations of sexual harassment. Specifically, former team employee Tiffani Johnston testified in February that Snyder grabbed her thigh at a team dinner and pressured her to get into a limousine – claims that Snyder has since denied.
Johnston’s testimony triggered a new league investigation that’s currently being led by Mary Jo White, a former US attorney and chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Attorneys representing some of the former Commanders employees who have filed complaints against the team responded to Wednesday’s news with a statement.
‘Today’s news that Dan and Tanya Snyder are exploring selling the Washington Commanders is a good development for the team, its former and current employees, and its many fans,’ said attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz. ‘We will have to see how this unfolds, but this could obviously be a big step towards healing and closure for the many brave women and men who came forward.’
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS SEXUAL HARASSMENT FALLOUT:
Team owner Dan Snyder: There are several outstanding allegations against Snyder.
A former cheerleader named Tiffany Bacon Scourby told the Washington Post that Snyder suggested that she join his ‘close friend’ in a hotel room in 2004 so they ‘could get to know each other.’
In February of 2022, a female former employee told HBO that she saw Snyder laughing and puffing on a cigar while watching a male executive grope her female co-worker’s backside in Snyder’s private suite at FedEx Field.
Another former employee, Tiffani Mattingly Johnston, said Snyder put his hand on her knee once at a dinner and later pressured her to get into his limousine, which she refused.
Snyder privately settled one sexual harassment allegation in 2009 for $1.6 million following an incident aboard his private plane, according to the Washington Post. The woman, a former club employee, claims Snyder asked her for sex, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes while the pair were on a team plane returning from Las Vegas.
His accuser had agreed not to sue the team or disclose her allegations as part of the settlement, but The Washington Post made them public in June 2022. The newspaper obtained a letter by a team attorney that detailed her allegations while arguing the claims were not credible.
Furthermore, the billionaire is accused of belittling executives, according to three members of the executive staff. Specifically, it’s claimed that he ridiculed an employee named Dennis Greene for being a college cheerleader, once allegedly ordering him to do cartwheels for his amusement. Snyder temporarily handed over day-to-day control of the club to his wife, Tanya, as the club was fined $10 million by the NFL. He now faces a criminal investigation in Virginia, where the club is accused of financial malpractice for allegedly swindling season ticket holders out of security deposits and improperly withholding ticket revenue from NFL teams. The Commanders have denied these claims.
Dan Snyder (left) still owns the Washington Football Team, but temporarily ceded day-to-day control of the franchise following the NFL’s investigation into sexual harassment claims against the club. He has since accused now-former team president Bruce Allen (right) of conspiring to spread false information about him to an Indian website
Chief operating officer Mitch Gershman: Former team employee Emily Applegate said he would routinely compliment her body while also regularly berating her for insignificant problems, like printer malfunctions. Her allegations were supported by two other female former employees. When contacted, Gershman told The Post, ‘I barely even remember who she is,’ adding that he ‘would apologize to anyone who thought I was verbally abusive.’ Gershman left the team in 2015.
Team president Bruce Allen: Although Allen was not accused of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, Applegate claims he must have known about her problems because ‘he sat 30 feet away from me… and saw me sobbing at my desk several times a week.’ The brother of former Virginia Governor and US Senator George Allen, Bruce found himself at the center of Jon Gruden’s email controversy in October of 2021 when the now-former Raiders coach’s racist, homophobic messages were mysteriously leaked to the media. Ultimately the emails led to Gruden’s dismissal as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Bruce Allen was fired after the 2019 season, when Washington went 3-13.
Former Washington Redskins director of pro personnel Alex Santos
Director of pro personnel Alex Santos: Six former employees and two reporters who covered the team told the Washington Post that Santos made inappropriate remarks to them about their appearances. He also asked them if they were interested in him romantically. In 2019, he allegedly pinched Rhiannon Walker, a reporter for The Athletic, and told her she had ‘an ass like a wagon.’ This resulted in an internal investigation. Another reporter, the Ringer’s Nora Princiotti, also accused Santos of harassing her. Santos, who declined to speak with The Post, was fired in July of 2020.
Team radio play-by-play announcer Larry Michael: Seven former employees told The Post that ‘the voice of the Washington Redskins’ frequently talked openly about female co-workers looks, often making sexually disparaging remarks. He was once caught on a ‘hot mic’ in 2018 discussing the looks of one intern, six sources told The Post. He is also accused of ordering employees to edit together a video of lewd behind-the-scenes outtakes from a 2008 calendar shoot. Michael, who declined to speak with The Post, retired after 16 seasons in July of 2020.
Former radio announcer Larry Michael (left) and former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II (right)
Assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II: In a text message obtained by The Post, Mann told a female colleague that he and other men in the office debated whether she had plastic surgery on her breasts. He also warned another female coworker to expect an ‘inappropriate hug’ from him, adding, ‘don’t worry that will be a stapler in my pocket, nothing else.’ Mann declined to speak with The Post after being fired in July of 2020.
Former president of business operations Dennis Greene
President of business operations Dennis Greene: Five former employees told The Post that Greene asked female sales staffers to wear revealing outfits and flirt with wealthy season ticket holders and suite holders. Greene worked for the club for 17 years until 2018, when it was revealed that he had sold access to team cheerleaders at a bikini photo shoot in Costa Rica as part of a ticket package. According to a New York Times investigation, the 2013 calendar shoot did not involve any sex, but team officials did worry the cheerleaders by taking their passports. Some cheerleaders say they were required to be topless, although the shoot did not include any nudity. After a 14-hour shoot one day, nine of the 36 cheerleaders were reportedly asked to escort suite holders to a local nightclub. Several of the women began to cry, according to the Times. Greene declined to comment and has not worked for the team since he resigned in 2018.
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