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More than six months after Daniel Snyder began exploring a sale of the Commanders, the franchise is finally changing hands. The NFL has long acknowledged billionaire Josh Harris' bid to purchase the team, but on Thursday, Harris and his purchasing partners were unanimously approved as one of the league's official ownership groups, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones described it as a "great" and "hallmark" day for the NFL as he arrived to vote

Harris, the incoming majority owner, is best known as the owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils. "We're very excited to get to work and to start the new era of Washington football," he said in a post-approval press conference

Others in Harris' purchasing group reportedly include business partner David Blitzer, owner of the Premier League's Crystal Palace FC and MLS franchise Real Salt Lake, NBA Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, venture capitalist Mark Ein, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and businessman Mitchell Rales. Former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III has also teased an ownership stake in the team he once condemned.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued the following statement regarding the sale: 

"Congratulations to Josh Harris and his impressive group of partners. Josh will be a great addition to the NFL. He has a remarkable record in business, sports, and in his communities. The diverse group that Josh has put together is outstanding for its business acumen and strong Washington ties and we welcome them to the NFL as well.

"I met Josh several years ago, prior to his acquisition of an interest in the Steelers and have been fortunate to get to know him better over the past few months. I know he has a commitment to winning on the field, but also to running an organization that everyone will be proud of -- and to making positive contributions in the community."

Daniel Snyder and the Harris group reportedly first reached a principle agreement in April, with the new owners set to pay a record $6 billion to acquire the Commanders, shattering the previous NFL high of $4.65 billion, which the Walton-Penner group paid to purchase the Denver Broncos in 2022. An official "purchase and sale" agreement for the Commanders followed in May, setting the sale at $6.05 billion.

As for why the team was sold, it's complicated. Daniel and Tanya Snyder were proud, public and noticeably involved owners of the Commanders, beginning with their 1999 purchase of the franchise from Jack Kent Cooke. However, Washington has been at the forefront of NFL controversy for years now. 

Since 2020, the club has rebranded due to pressure over its longtime but polarizing nickname, absorbed a $10 million fine and other NFL discipline over a "highly unprofessional" workplace environment and been the subject of multiple investigations, including by congressional committees, related to alleged sexual harassment. The league released the full text of its report online following the completion of the sale. As a result of its findings, Snyder will be ordered to pay $60 million to the NFL. 

The team has also been linked to the Jon Gruden scandal that saw the former Raiders coach resign, with Snyder reportedly feuding with -- and threatening to blackmail -- fellow owners and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell amid the controversies. Finally, in November 2022, he and Tanya announced they'd hired bankers to consider potential transactions related to team ownership.