The owners of the Washington Commanders announced Wednesday that they have hired Bank of America in a major step toward a potential sale of the struggling NFL franchise.
“Dan and Tanya Snyder and Washington Commanders announced today that they have engaged BofA Securities to consider potential transactions,” the team said in a statement.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to bring the best product to the field and continue the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
In recent years, the team has been the target of multiple investigations into its work culture, leading to calls for Snyder and his wife to sell.
Snyder bought the once-proud franchise ahead of the 1999 season, taking over a club that won three Super Bowl titles.
Only six other NFL franchises have won more modern titles than Washington. But Snyder’s tenure was marred by poor results and several off-court scandals.
The team fell short of a conference title game under Snyder, and is now on a five-season losing streak.
Commanders fans ‘will hold a parade if they sell the team’ old tweeted Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of the most well-known players on Snyder’s estate.
Retired cornerback Domonique Foxworth, former president of the NFL Players Association, urged the NFL to find a black-led trade group to buy the team.
Foxworth, a Maryland native, said the team had struggled for years to win over black fans in a very diverse market. Washington, DC is almost half black, and Washington was the last NFL team to integrate.
“Generations of black DC fans were raised as Cowboys fans because it took until 1962 for Washington’s first black player to become the first black player.” foxworth wrote.
For years, a defiant Snyder resisted calls to rename his club, which had used a slur for Native Americans as its nickname and mascot.
The team finally bowed to public pressure in 2020 and renamed themselves Commanders last year.
Off the pitch, several former employees have accused the club of fostering a toxic and misogynistic workplace.
The allegations led to congressional hearings, which cast an unflattering light on the club this year.
A congressional report accused Snyder of commissioning a “shadow investigation” into employees who spoke out against the team’s “toxic workplace” to influence the NFL’s review of sexual harassment allegations.
Two weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts CEO Jim Irsay became the first NFL owner to publicly call for Snyder to be kicked out of the league. There is “merit in removing” Snyder as the owner of the Commanders, Irsay said.
Snyder and the team fired back at Irsay, saying “there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise.”
The Commanders have won four of their first eight games this season, a slight outperformance for a team some had expected to win only seven or eight of their 17 games this season.
Janhvi Bhojwani and Steve Kopack contributed.