SNIDER: The NFL took it easy on Dan Snyder


Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder got off light.

Found guilty by the NFL of letting his organizational leaders essentially run wild and sexually harass female staffers and media, Snyder went to extreme pre-sentencing measures to seek mercy. He fired everyone involved, settled with some of the aggrieved, hired a diverse and respected staff and promised to do better.

The NFL looked kindly on Snyder's moves; fining Washington $10 million and telling the owner to essentially go work on the new stadium for a while and stay away from the office. Translation – Snyder wasn't formally suspended, but behind the scenes was obviously told to make his wife Tanya Snyder co-CEO so she would handle daily operations.

That Snyder was to be sanctioned was clear on Tuesday when Tanya Snyder gained an organizational chair, especially when the NFL loves to dump bad news before the slowest time of the NFL calendar – July 4. Snyder gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal while in New York, which is where NFL offices reside.

It doesn't take much to connect the dots. The league told Snyder what they would do later in the week, Tanya Snyder was made co-CEO and Snyder began his redemption tour with a friendly media outlet.

Anyone thinking Tanya Snyder wasn't appointed by the NFL so it didn't have to suspend Dan Snyder should ask one question – why wasn't she given power earlier in Snyder's 22-year ownership? Answer – cause Dan Snyder was the absolute boss. Tanya Snyder now lets the NFL not suspend Dan Snyder by having a family member handle league matters and daily business. Otherwise, the NFL would have needed to suspend Dan Snyder and hire an interim leader.

Oh, this move is for "several months" so there's no timetable.  And, Snyder "voluntarily "agreed with the decision and moved on to stadium matters. I wonder what would have been Snyder's task if the team wasn't looking for a new venue?

Adding to this farce is the year-long investigation by Beth Wilkinson includes only an oral report and not a written one. Why? Cause there's no paper trail this way. Certainly, there are outstanding lawsuits that would seek a written report. Instead, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell remembers what he chooses. Comparatively, there was a 139-page report filed on New England owner Bob Kraft for getting a happy ending at a massage parlor.

A $10 million fine is nothing to a billionaire. Like being caught by a speed camera for everyday folks. But, it's enough for the NFL to look like it was tough on Snyder. That no draft picks were taken or Snyder suspended or forced to sell makes it a light penalty.

Oh, the NFL also requires the team to make 10 changes to its organizational training. Lots of sensitivity seminars and such. I can deliver the same message in one brief moment – Don't act inappropriately with co-workers.

Ultimately, light punishment was expected. The NFL doesn't like to sanction its owners cause there are too many glass houses league-wide. The punishment made a point without any real pain to Snyder, who once again promises to do better.

Actually, it's the league that needs to do better.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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