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    Tuesday, July 23, 2024

    Dan Snyder’s time is up

    Fortunately for football fans in the nation’s capital, the Washington Commanders will no longer belong to Dan Snyder, who bought the team in 1999. Snyder has agreed to sell the team for a record $6 billion.

    Americans have many reasons to view the NFL with disdain. There’s the league’s reluctance to deal with the ravages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, its long history of looking the other way when players have abused women, and its indefensible treatment of Colin Kaepernick, essentially blacklisted simply for expressing himself through protest.

    You can add Snyder to the list.

    The league tolerated Snyder for far too long. Perhaps the biggest stain on Snyder’s years as owner involves accusations from dozens of women that he, along with other top executives, sexually harassed female employees.

    In 2021, the NFL ordered Snyder to keep away from the team and fined the club $10 million after its investigation concluded that a widespread culture of sexual harassment existed for more than 10 years at the team, perpetuated by its executives. The league also determined that Snyder did nothing to intervene.

    Later, a new wave of allegations of sexual harassment of women by Snyder and team executives arose, prompting a second NFL investigation into the owner and his team. That probe is ongoing. Last November, federal prosecutors began a criminal investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing by the team.

    Snyder also came under fire for his longtime refusal to drop the offensive nickname Redskins, considered a slur against Native Americans. He finally relented in 2020 after team sponsors threatened to take their business elsewhere.

    Ultimately, sports is entertainment. It’s a diversion from world conflicts, hand-wringing about the economy and caustic American politics. But the grist should come from the baseball diamond, the gridiron, the rink and the court — not from scandals and ignominy tied to players, coaches or owners.

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