Washington Football Team has promised a total makeover of its culture in the wake of multiple controversies this offseason, including the retirement of its 87-year-old "Redskins" nickname, the arrest of since-released running back Derrius Guice and a bombshell report about sexual harassment inside the organization. The franchise's minority partners reportedly have a shared plan to help accelerate the makeover: Pressure owner Daniel Snyder to outright sell the team.
According to the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Beaton and Cara Lombardo, "a growing fight inside" the team has prompted each of the club's minority owners to advocate for the ousting of Snyder, 55, as head of the franchise.
Snyder "has no intention to sell his majority stake in the team," per the Journal, and "a recent legal filing by Mr. Snyder suggests that at least one of the minority partners has attempted to leak defamatory information against him." But all three of Washington's minority partners -- FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Black Diamond Capital chairman Robert Rothman and NVR Inc. board chairman Dwight Schar -- are reportedly united in efforts to sell their interest in the club, hiring an investment firm to do so.
"Those stakes would be more valuable," the Journal reports, "if the entire team were to be sold."
Forbes recently valued Washington at $3.4 billion, the seventh highest total among all 32 NFL franchises. The minority partners' stakes in the organization have reportedly attracted interest from several potential buyers, but Snyder himself "has been reluctant to give any of them the option to eventually buy control." Smith, in particular, who reportedly attempted to have the team's nickname changed "years ago," has apparently sought to sell his stake in the team for at least a year, but a "slow approval process involving Mr. Snyder" has turned would-be buyers away, including one who's since purchased a stake in another NFL team.
"Tensions between the parties have grown more severe in recent weeks," the Journal reports, with Washington still maneuvering past a litany of off-field issues, including Guice's high-profile release and new coach Ron Rivera's attempt to rebuild the club's culture.
Snyder has been the majority owner of Washington since 1999, when he bought the team for $800 million.