Jim Irsay has delivered the first official shot toward Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. The Colts owner and CEO told reporters at the NFL owners' meeting in New York on Tuesday that there's "merit to removing him as owner." This comes after multiple teams want Snyder out as Washington's owner for both his alleged workplace misconduct and failure to secure a new stadium for his franchise.
"I assume we're going to get into more and more discussion on that," said Irsay when asked if Snyder has been a topic of conversation at these meeting. "You know, it's a difficult situation. I believe that there's merit to remove him as owner of the (Commanders). I think it's something that we have to review, we have to look at all the evidence and be thorough in going forward, but I think it's something that has to be given serious consideration."
He added: "As we determine the evidence and move forward, we'll have to determine what the situation is. ... I think once owners talk among each other, they'll arrive to the right decision. Unfortunately, I believe that's the road we probably need to go down and we just need to finish the investigation. It's gravely concerning to me the things that have occurred over there in the last 20 years."
When asked if there are the required 24 votes to remove him as owner, Irsay said: "I think potentially there will be."
Twenty-four of the league's 32 owners are required to approve a vote for removal, which never has been done in the history of the NFL.
Irsay added that a vote is unlikely to occur on Tuesday, but believes it could happen after Mary Jo White submits her investigation.White is currently investigating Snyder, which includes allegations that Snyder sexually harassed two women. Once she files her report to the league, commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly intends on meeting with Snyder.
This also comes as the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committeeinvestigation of the workplace culture under Snyder. The AG's office for the District of Columbia (D.C.) is planning to take its own actions against Snyder amid allegations of financial impropriety, which include an alleged act of underreporting ticket sales to reap tax benefits
"Some of the things I've heard doesn't represent us at all," Irsay said. "I want the American public to know what we're about as owners. ... You can't shy away from the fact that, I believe it's in the best interest of the National Football League that we look at this squarely in the eyes and deal with it."
Following Irsay's comments, a Commanders spokesperson released the following statement: "It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr. Irsay opted to make statements publicly based on falsehoods in the media. It is unfortunate that Mr. Irsay decided to go public with his statement today, while an investigation is in process, and the team has had no opportunity to formally respond to allegations. The Commanders have made remarkable progress over the past two years. We are confident that, when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise. And they won't."
Later Tuesday, Goodell said he's not upset with Irsay for speaking his mind, per NFL Media, but that there should be no discussion on Snyder's ownership until the Mary Jo White investigation has been completed, per NBC Sports Washington.
"It's an ongoing investigation," Goodell said, via NFL Media. "When Mary Jo White is done with the investigation, we'll share the report. … There's no reason for speculation until we have (it)."
Snyder purchased the team in 1999 along with Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (now FedExField) for $800 million after the passing of previous owner Jack Kent Cooke.