Thursday saw a show-stopping end to the Dan Snyder era.
Snyder owes $60 million to the NFL, the league said when it released the results of an independent investigation into his conduct and the club's financial dealings -- moments after the Washington Commanders sale was finalized in a unanimous vote.
The results were shared in a report about the investigation conducted by Mary Jo White, former U.S. attorney and Securities and Exchange Commission chair. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appointed White to head the independent investigation after Tiffani Johnston made her sexual harassment allegations at a Congressional roundtable in February 2022.
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Click here to read the report in its entirety.
White's investigation expanded to include the financial misconduct allegations in April 2022, when a Congressional committee was informed of Snyder's actions.
According to the NFL release, the 17-month investigation "included interviews with dozens of witnesses, sometimes on multiple occasions, a review of over 10,000 documents, and assistance from a team of forensic accountants."
Goodell condemned Snyder's conduct in the wake of the report.
“The conduct substantiated in Ms. White's findings has no place in the NFL," said commissioner Goodell. “We strive for workplaces that are safe, respectful and professional. What Ms. Johnston experienced is inappropriate and contrary to the NFL's values."
What the report upheld
According to the report, Snyder sexually harassed Johnston, a former Commanders cheerleader and marketing employee.
Johnston said during her testimony before Congress that Snyder "surreptitiously placed his hand on her thigh during a work-related dinner at a Washington, D.C., restaurant," and tried to push her into his limousine to force her to ride in the car with him after the dinner, the report says.
Those findings were upheld. Other allegations Johnston made against Snyder did not have enough evidence for the investigation to uphold them. (More on that below.)
The report also found that the Commanders club deliberately underreported NFL revenues in an attempt to avoid "VTS sharing obligations."
Those obligations entail, essentially, putting money made from the sale of certain premium goods and services into a pool. Clubs have to calculate all of that profit, and give 34% of those proceeds to the NFL as part of the "visiting team’s share." That collection of money is designed to increase financial equality between teams.
According to the report, members of the Commanders club intentionally hid some of the revenue that should have gone into that VTS pool, and kept the money.
The investigation confirmed "the Club failed to report $1.09 million in shareable revenues," during the course of the 2013–2015 seasons.
There may also be more money that the report could not confirm the club hid, based on emails and financial documents that "suggest that the Club, during the 2009-2015 seasons may have improperly shielded ... a potentially significant portion of additional revenues ..."
Whether Snyder was personally involved in any of that underreporting, however, is still unknown.
Still, the allegations that were confirmed in the report are severe enough that Snyder owes the NFL a whopping $60 million.
"Mr. Snyder will pay $60 million to the league in resolution of Ms. White's findings and all outstanding matters," the NFL said in its release about the report.
What the report could not uphold
The investigation could not confirm that Snyder was involved in what the report calls the "calendar photo incident," part of Johnston's sexual harassment allegations.
According to the report, Johnston and other cheerleaders participated in a photo shoot, creating photos for use in a calendar. Johnston was wearing lingerie for the shoot, but the photos required editing to cover "inadvertent exposures," the report said.
One of the photos that required editing was taken from a conference room during the photo editors' lunch break, after a senior executive asked to see the unedited photos and was denied. The photo was eventually found, but that same senior executive was seen by witnesses near the place where employees found the photo, according to the report.
The report confirmed that a senior executive "improperly took and viewed" an unedited photo, but stated there was not enough evidence to prove that Snyder was involved.
The report also could not confirm that Snyder was involved in incidents where security deposits -- paid by customers into leases for "multi-year club and suite seats" -- were not returned but instead kept by the Commanders club.
Finally, there was not enough evidence for the investigators to conclude either way whether Snyder was involved in hiding money that should have gone into that VTS sharing pool.
"Primarily because of the Club’s failures to cooperate in producing requested relevant documents, as well as the unwillingness of certain former senior executives to be interviewed, we were unable to determine the precise amount of underreported revenues, or the extent of Mr. Snyder’s knowledge and involvement in the Club’s improper revenue shielding schemes," the report said.