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Colts owner Jim Irsay sees ‘merit to remove’ Dan Snyder as Washington owner – Boston Herald



Tuesday afternoon in downtown Manhattan, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay became the first NFL owner to publicly call for Dan Snyder to be removed as Washington Commanders owner.

“I believe that there’s merit to remove him as owner of the (Commanders),” Irsay said at the NFL owners’ meetings inside the Conrad New York Downtown hotel. “I think it’s something we have to review. We have to look at all the evidence, and we have to be thorough. But I think it’s something that has to be given serious consideration.”

Irsay, 63, said he believes the owners might secure the 24 votes required to vote Snyder out when the time comes.

“I think potentially there will be,” Irsay said. “But we’ll see … I believe they’ll support it if the report shows and they believe it’s the right thing to do … We have complete authority to do that.”

Irsay made clear he wasn’t just advocating for Snyder to hand off the franchise to his family.

“In general of him being removed and selling the franchise,” Irsay said.

Snyder is the subject of an ongoing NFL investigation being conducted by Mary Jo White, the former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he urged the owners, in a closed door meeting following Irsay’s public comments, to reserve comments until they have learned all the facts.

“When Mary Jo White is done with her investigation, we will share that with the membership and share that publicly as we committed to before,” Goodell said at an evening press conference. “And I was very clear with them there is no reason for there to be any speculation at this point in time or discussion until we have all the facts. So that was my message to the ownership. And there was little or no discussion.”

But Goodell also had an interesting answer when asked if he was surprised or disappointed by Irsay’s comments.

“No,” Goodell said. “How do you like that?”

Goodell and the NFL already buried the findings of attorney Beth Wilkinson’s report last year about the Washington franchise’s toxic work environment that has allegedly enabled repeated sexual harassment, though. So owners such as Irsay are right to be restless about a resolution.

Snyder fired back at Irsay later Tuesday and said in a statement that he will not sell the team:

“We are confident that, when he has an opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay will conclude that there is no reason for the Snyders to consider selling the franchise,” the Washington statement read. “And they won’t.”

The Commanders also produced a letter that Snyder had sent to NFL owners on Monday defending himself against an ESPN story that ran last week.

The article alleged Snyder had gathered “dirt” that could “blow up” several owners, the league office and Goodell, as leverage to prevent them from voting him out.

“I have never hired any private investigator to look into any owner or the Commissioner,” Snyder’s letter to owners read.

Irsay said he didn’t care if Snyder had investigated him anyway.

“I could care less,” the Colts’ owner said. “You can investigate me until the cows come home. That’s not gonna back me off.”

“In the workplace today, the standard that the shield stands for in the NFL, you have to stand for that and protect that,” Irsay added. “I just think that once owners talk amongst each other, they’ll arrive at the right decision.”

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