Washington Commanders’ owner Dan Snyder has agreed to the sale of his team for $6 billion, according to sports news outlet Sportico:
EXCLUSIVE: Dan Snyder has reached an agreement in principle to sell the @Commanders for $6 billion to a group led by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris
— Sportico (@Sportico) April 13, 2023
This marks the end of an ownership marked with scandals ranging from cultural insensitivity to sexual harassment to accusations of mismanagement. The team is being bought by a group led by Josh Harris, an owner of the N.B.A.’s Philadelphia 76ers and the N.H.L.’s New Jersey Devils.
Who is Josh Harris?
Josh Harris is buying a team in his hometown of Washington, D.C. Harris grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and went to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School. According to The Athletic, Harris made his fortune in private equity, working in mergers and acquisitions at Drexel Burnham Lambert before co-founding Apollo Global Management in 1990. Bloomberg puts Harris’ net worth at $7.63 billion.
This isn’t Harris’s foray into sports. Along with David Blitzer, he led a group that bought the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He also owns a stake in Crystal Palace F.C. of the Premier League and a less than 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harris and Blitzer have reputations for overhauling organizations with an eye on giving teams the tools, resources, and talent they need to win.
That is not a reputation that Dan Snyder will leave with. The NFL is conducting a second investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Snyder and within the ranks of his executive team, as well as financial improprieties, reports the New York Times. Snyder has been unable to build a new stadium for his team and faced massive backlash for refusing to change the team name (the team was formally called the Redskins) despite years of protests from Native American groups. In 2013, he told USA Today, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” Finally, after facing financial pressure from pulled sponsorships, the name was changed to “The Washington Football Team” in 2020 before officially taking their new name, the Washington Commanders, in 2022.
Pardon My Take’s Tweet pretty much summarizes the overall reaction of the Commanders’ fanbase:
Dan Snyder has officially sold the Washington Commanders pic.twitter.com/opJvLSdTLx
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) April 13, 2023