The Washington Commanders’ owners announced Wednesday that they had hired Bank of America in a major step toward a potential sale of the troubled NFL franchise.
“Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Commanders announced today that they have hired BofA Securities to consider potential transactions,” the team said in a statement.
“The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
In recent years, the team has been the target of multiple investigations about its workplace culture, leading to calls for Snyder and his wife to sell.
Snyder bought the once-proud franchise before the 1999 season, taking over a club that has won three Super Bowl titles.
Only six other NFL franchises have won more modern titles than Washington. But Snyder’s tenure has been marked by poor results and several scandals off the field.
The team hasn’t reached a conference title game during Snyder’s regime, and it’s now on a run of five losing seasons.
Commanders fans “will throw a parade if they sell the team,” tweeted former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of the best-known players of Snyder’s ownership.
Retired cornerback Domonique Foxworth, a former president of the NFL Players Association, urged the NFL to find a Black-led business group to buy the team.
Foxworth, a Maryland native, said the team has struggled for years to win over Black fans in a highly diverse market. Washington, D.C., is nearly half Black, and Washington was the last NFL team to integrate.
“Generations of DC black fans have been raised Cowboys fans because it took until 1962 for Washington’s 1st black player,” Foxworth wrote.
For years, a defiant Snyder resisted calls to rename his club, which had used a slur for Native Americans as its nickname and mascot.
Off the field, multiple former employees have accused the club of fostering a toxic, misogynistic workplace.
A congressional report accused Snyder of commissioning a “shadow investigation” into employees who spoke out against the team’s “toxic workplace” to influence the NFL’s review of sexual harassment allegations.
Two weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts CEO Jim Irsay became the first NFL owner to publicly call for Snyder to be forced out of the league. There is “merit to remove” Snyder as the Commanders’ owner, Irsay said.
Snyder and the team fired back at Irsay, saying “there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise.”
The Commanders have won four of their first eight contests this season, a slight overperformance for a team some expected to only win seven or eight of its 17 games this season.