The NFL is no stranger to controversy.
Take, for instance, the firestorm that it dealt with following Damar Hamlin’s sudden cardiac arrest against the Cincinnati Bengals just this past season.
But there’s controversy, and then there’s massive legal trouble. And Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has brought about a whole lot of the latter.
Snyder is (potentially) in the process of selling the team following a federal investigation into a number of alleged improprieties.
NFL In Hot Water After Declining To Investigate $55 Million Loan By Daniel Snyder
One of said improprieties reportedly involves a $55 million loan that the NFL refused to investigate and now faces questions about according to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr.
DANIEL SNYDER’S FINAL breakup from his longtime minority partners in Washington’s NFL franchise began with a footnote in an April 2020 financial report.
The note revealed a $55 million credit line the team had taken out 16 months earlier without the knowledge and required approval of Snyder’s minority partners — the three billionaires who owned 40% of the franchise, according to documents obtained by ESPN. – via ESPN
Van Natta Jr. reports the loan is now the focus of a state investigation by Virginia prosecutors into alleged financial misconduct.
The report also states that when asked to investigate, the league declined.
During a confidential arbitration, the former partners demanded that the NFL investigate the origin of Snyder’s loan. But neither NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose signature granted league approval for the team to take on the new debt, nor the NFL arbitrator investigated the partners’ allegation of financial wrongdoing, according to hundreds of pages of confidential NFL arbitration documents obtained by ESPN and more than a dozen interviews.
Snyder reportedly took the loan without approval from the team’s board of directors, which violates the team’s shareholder agreement. Bank of America, which issues the loan, reportedly asked for proof of said approval. It never came. But the loan went through anyway.
Now the NFL is left to explain its refusal to investigate and could well find itself in legal trouble as well.