By all measures, the district has gotten along quite well since Snyder’s National Football League team fled to FedEx Field in Landover in 1997. The last thing DC needs is a professional sports franchise to be heavily laden with outside-the-stadium failure. That ‘s sure to come as long as Snyder is in the picture.
The “No Admittance” sign was hung this week in a letter sent to Norton by the majority of the DC Council. “We all hope that Washington Commanders can address its ownership of many off-the-field failures – in particular, its failure to provide a safe working environment for women – and, secondarily, return to its former glory on the field,” wrote Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) and six other city lawmakers. They added, “One of the last large undeveloped parcels of land in the district must be utilized in the best interest of district residents.”
Suffice to say, the district’s interests may be incompatible with Snyder’s. The last time talks turned to building a new stadium on the existing RFK site In 2018, the owner sketched out a vision of a moat-surrounded, state-of-the-art stadium anchored in a sprawling entertainment and commercial district on the banks of the Anacostia River – much of it under his control.
Oh, yes, and the city – while not expecting to spend a dime on stadium construction – had to shell out tens of millions of dollars to pay for infrastructure development. That was then.
The Post’s View: What to do with RFK Stadium? First, DC must take control.
Some city residents say there are better uses for the property: parks, recreation, affordable housing, commercial opportunities – with residents fully consulted on the plans.
Tweeted Allen: “Putting tax dollars toward the bottom line of a billionaire’s team with an ugly history of racism and misogyny does not benefit district residents.”
The council’s majority, however, should not have the last word. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) has made it known that he would like to have the Commanders back on Washington soil. But she is a political realist and can count votes, too. With Snyder in the package, the Commanders are going to stay on the outside looking in.
For that, Snyder can thank himself.
His ownership record, as I wrote before, is a tale of how to run down a successful franchise, while making out like a bandit along the way.
From team management, coaching staff and player selection to the despicable treatment of women (among other allegations, cheerleaders said they were used as escorts on a trip where stadium suite owners and sponsors were invited to observe them during a topless photo shoot), Snyder is a top contender for the title of World’s Worst Sports Team Owner.
The Washington Commanders’ defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is not turning out so hot, either.
Tweet Del Rio in response to a report about the Jan. 6 hearings: “Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about the personal property of riots, looting, burning and destruction this summer is never discussed but this is ???”
Leaving little doubt about what he was getting at, Del Rio said to reporters: “Why are we not looking into those things if we’re going to talk about it? Why are we not looking into those things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say – I can look realistically at it, I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol. Nothing burned down, and we’re not going to talk about – we’re going to make that a big deal. “
It’s hard to Understanding how an attack on the US Capitol Interruption destroying our democracy, that left dead and wounded in its wake, could be reduced to a “dust-up.” Or that the response to protests in police shootings of Black Americans is in any way comparable to a violent insurrection.
But that’s the way the Washington Commanders defensive coordinator sees it, though he has now said some of his words were “irresponsible and negligent.” Snyder has said a word.
All of which is just cause for the district to say with finality: “Yes to the RFK site; no to Daniel Snyder. “