It appears that Daniel Snyder’s disdain for Jeff Bezos will prevent the billionaire Amazon founder from buying the Washington Commanders. Bezos was allegedly prevented from joining a private auction for the NFL franchise by Snyder due to a long-standing grudge.
It’s clear why Snyder would have beef with Bezos, who owns the Washington Post. The paper ran several exposés that allege Snyder enabled sexual harassment.
According to WaPo:
“The allegations raised … — running from 2006 to 2019 — span most of Snyder’s tenure as owner and fall into two categories: unwelcome overtures or comments of a sexual nature, and exhortations to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients to close sales deals.”
As the NY Post wrote in late January, some believe Snyder suspects Bezos encouraged the tough coverage in order to force the beleaguered owner to sell the team. Back in November, a source told Peter King of NBC Sports that a sale to Bezos will never happen.
“Dan Snyder detests the Washington Post. No way he’d sell to the owner of that paper,” according to the source.
Bezos’ interest in owning an NFL franchise
In 2019, reports indicated that Bezos had struck a rapport with numerous NFL owners, including Snyder.
As noted by Jason La Canfora in his piece for CBS Sports:
“Snyder has been trying for years to get a state-of-the-art downtown stadium built in DC, growing increasingly frustrated by the location and age of FedEx Field. Bezos moved the Washington Post to a new location after purchasing the paper, is setting up an Amazon hub in the area and some believe could aid Snyder’s pursuit of a new stadium, perhaps even with an Amazon sponsorship.”
However, after that piece was written, Snyder denied the rumor of a rapport with Bezos, claiming that he hadn’t seen him in a decade at the time.
After Snyder announced his interest in possibly selling the Commanders, TMZ reported that Bezos could partner with rapper Jay-Z to buy the team. There were even reports that Bezos would consider selling the Washington Post to better his chances, although Bezos has claimed the publication was never for sale.
Aside from his interest in purchasing an NFL team, it appears Bezos has always had an affinity for the D.C. area and football in general. In 2022, Amazon purchased the rights to Thursday Night Football, which led to record-breaking Amazon Prime subscriptions. Bezos owns a house in the D.C. metro area, and Amazon’s second headquarters is located just across the Potomac River in Crystal City, Virginia. Even if Bezos didn’t have the business relationship with Snyder that was rumored, it doesn’t mean the two never contacted one another.
Once proud franchise for sale
Snyder may ultimately decide not to sell the Commanders since he didn’t get his asking price, as the NY Post noted. The tabloid reported that the best offer Snyder received was $5.5 billion, while other publications such as Forbes reported that offers have come in for the team “far north” of $7 billion.
“He’s an ass and he may not want to give it up,” a source closely watching the sale told the NY Post.
Whether or not Snyder will be forced to walk away from the Commanders, which he purchased for $800 million in 1999, will be determined at the annual owners’ meeting on March 26. It wouldn’t be a surprise if other owners vote in favor of ousting Snyder. In October 2022, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay was quoted saying there are potentially 24 votes to remove Snyder as co-owner of the Commanders. That’s 75 percent of league owners.
A possible reason why Snyder is still in charge was detailed in a near-8,000-word ESPN expose written by Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham, and Tisha Thompson, published in October.
The report cites Snyder recently saying he’s garnered “enough secrets to blow up several NFL owners,” with the league office and Goodell as fellow casualties. Snyder’s perceived contingencies are in place in order to protect himself from any attempt to oust him from his perch as the Commanders’ owner.
Less than a month later, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office was going after Snyder, the franchise itself, the National Football League, and league commissioner Roger Goodell, filing civil charges against the quartet.