For the first time, an NFL owner has publicly called for Dan Snyder to sell the Washington Commanders franchise.
At the NFL owners' meeting in New York, longtime Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told a gathering of reporters that "I believe there is merit to removing (Snyder) as owner" of the Commanders.
"Colts owner Jim Irsay on Dan Snyder: 'I believe there is merit to removing him as owner of the (Commanders).'" -- Albert Breer
Perhaps even more consequentially, Irsay said he believes there will be enough support among the owners to force Snyder to sell his franchise, although he doesn't anticipate that happening during this week's meeting. Irsay said the league needs to wait for an investigation into Snyder and the Commanders by Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine to be completed before making any decisions.
It would take 24 votes from other owners to remove Snyder as owner of the Commanders.
"When we look at the evidence and go forward, we’ll have to determine what the situation is," Irsay said. "But I just believe in the workplace today, the standard that the shield stands for and the NFL, that you have to stand for that and protect that. And I just think that once owners talk amongst each other, they’ll arrive to the right decision."
Snyder has been at the center of several recent controversies, including allegations of sexual harassment and promoting a toxic workplace culture. The NFL fined Snyder $10 million as a result, and he agreed to give up day-to-day operations of the Commanders franchise, but a recent ESPN report claimed that he was actively involved in the team's trade for quarterback Carson Wentz.
All of that led legendary broadcaster Al Michaels to state on air during the Commanders' win over the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football that he believed the NFL would prefer it if Snyder sold the team, which many have interpreted as a message from the league.
Snyder is not expected to go quietly. The ESPN report said he has been compiling "dirt" on other league owners as well as commissioner Roger Goodell in an effort to save his position.
But Irsay's remarks, the first time an NFL owner or executive has publicly called for Snyder to sell, continued to build momentum toward his removal.
Will other owners follow suit? We'll continue to monitor the Snyder situation during this week's meetings.