Jim Irsay and other NFL owners are fed up with Dan Snyder

Jim Irsay and other NFL owners are fed up with Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder’s ability to remain owner of the Washington Commanders has been an established fact for so long now that I treat it as a given on par with death, taxes and James Corden being an officious prick. But I did live long enough to see Snyder forced to change that franchise’s name from a longstanding racial slur to their newer, sleeker, somehow even dumber moniker. So you never say never, even when Dan Snyder himself says NEVER.

Dan Snyder has had to say never many times over the past 24 hours, because it’s no longer just us peasants who want him exiled from the NFL. Last night, for the first time ever, an actual NFL owner came out and said he’d like to see his colleague ousted. That colleague was Colts owner and aspiring Grammy winner Jim Irsay, who said that “I believe that there is merit to remove him as owner,” before accidentally brainfarting out the old racial slur team name that helped make Snyder so radioactive to begin with.

Owners meetings are usually torpid affairs in which a gang of old white people gather round a conference table to complain that toothpaste nowadays is too spicy. So it counts as real news when one of these owners goes in front of a camera and puts himself out there on Snyder. And while I can’t yet delight in Snyder’s formal expulsion, I can hang onto Irsay’s comments as a tangible sign of mounting discontent within the league regarding the Commanders owner, a discontent that made itself known just one week ago in a far-ranging and juicy colossus of a report filed to ESPN by Seth Wickersham, Tisha Thompson and Don Van Natta Jr. That report got us one step closer to Snyder’s demise. Irsay has nudged us even closer. Oh, perchance to dream.

More importantly, we can take a look at Irsay’s comments and get a good look at how NFL owners would like you, the public, to think of NFL owners. Dan Snyder and Dan Snyder alone might have given you the impression that NFL owners are disconnected billionaires who don’t give af—k about the fans and see them only as a source of profit and perhaps future organ harvesting. Reader, that simply couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s Irsay rebutting such notions Tuesday night:

“I just believe in the workplace today, the standard that the shield stands for in the NFL, that you have to stand for and protect that.”

That’s so true. I can abide Dan Snyder fostering a hideously misogynistic workplace, pimping out his own cheerleaders to other rich assholes, suing everyone who cuts him off at the deli and bouncing checks issued to contest winners. But what I will NOT tolerate is his desecration of a corporate logo. Has anyone told the NFL that the shield is not an actual shield? It won’t protect you from incoming arrows or anything like that. It’s just pretend.

Oh, but it’s not pretend to Jim Irsay, who owns his team because he’s the son of an incorrigible drunk who moved the Colts from Baltimore to Indianapolis under cover of darkness in order to reap a tidy profit. As far as Irsay is concerned, that shield is the only thing standing between us and the forces of evil. So don’t think of this man as just some heartless billionaire eager to shroud all of his nefarious dealings behind a noble bit of graphic design …

“I just think what’s happened in the workplace, having three daughters, seven granddaughters …”

Oh you better believe that Irsay played the “father of a daughter” card last night. If you have three daughters and seven granddaughters, that’s like having 100 daughters. That’s 100 times the empty wokeness! You have to respect a man who has deployed his sperm THIS conscientiously.

“We have to look at the investigation and see the finality of certain things that have happened .… I believe it’s in the best interest of the National Football League that we look it squarely in the eye and deal with it. I think America, the world, expects us to as leaders.”

Keep in mind that Irsay had just come out of the same meeting where NFL owners, himself included, unanimously agreed to have Rams owner Stan Kroenke pay $571 million to the city of St. Louis to settle a lawsuit that the city filed against the NFL for disregarding the league’s own bylaws to move Kroenke’s team to Southern California. THAT is what I, America, the world expects NFL owners to do. You know, as leaders. Oh, and last night these same people also reinstated Dolphins owner Stephen Ross after he was suspended by the NFL for trying to illegally lure Tom Brady to Miami while he was still under contract with Tampa Bay. This is the same Stephen Ross who was accused by his former head coach of offering cash bounties in exchange for tanking games. Again, all within my expectations of NFL ownership.

But Jim Irsay insists that I’ve got it all wrong. THESIS ARE GOOD FOLK. #NotAllOwners! Hear it for yourself!

“I think owners have been painted incorrectly a lot of times by various people and under various situations.”

When I think of people being unfairly stereotyped, the FIRST person I think of is an NFL owner. Do you know how many NFL owners have been technically frivolously arrested for getting an alleged handjob at a massage parlor? One, but that’s still one too many!

“And that’s not what we’re about. And we do care a great deal for each other. You know, there’s a lot of friendships in this league and closeness. Bob Kraft getting married and talking to him and sending him a gift. There’s just a lot of closeness in this league. And I don’t think, some of the things I’ve heard, it doesn’t represent us at all. And I want the American public and the world to know what we’re about as owners.”

Irsay would later go on to talk in depth with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer about this unfair perception, mentioning that within the last 24 hours, he had discussed the great pride and responsibility of NFL ownership with former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

DeBartolo was once accused of sexual assault by a cocktail waitress, with whom he reportedly settled for $200,000. He was ultimately forced by the NFL to turn control of the 49ers over to his sister because he was convicted in a casino fraud case involving an illegal $400,000 payment he made to the governor of Louisiana. Donald Trump later granted DeBartolo clemency in that case. So you can see how Dan Snyder would be a poor fit among such honorable men. No wonder Roger Goodell didn’t publicly chide Irsay for his comments. He too wants the NFL to be in good, clean hands.

Do I really believe that NFL owners will kick out Dan Snyder because he’s tarnished their collective, sterling reputation? I don’t, and you don’t either. If you asked Jim Irsay what year it currently is, he’d be off by orders of magnitude, but he’s not THAT out to lunch. He knows exactly why he wants Snyder gone: because Snyder is costing both him and his fellow owners money. ESPN’s report made that plain enough, as Snyder has utterly failed to deliver a new stadium in DC or either of its bordering states, and there’s still the bombshell report floating out there that Snyder was squirreling away ticket revenue he was supposed to be sharing. Hours after the ESPN story, Al Michaels said on Thursday Night Football that Snyder has “become a major problem around the league.” Someone gave Al, and Irsay, tacit permission to say what they said. These were not off the cuff remarks from either man.

In Irsay’s comments, and his floated schedule for Snyder’s beheading, we can glean the strategy that he and the NFL will use to sell this move to a public that need not be sold on it. These are people who milk every cow dry. So why not, while getting rid of Dan Snyder, also cite him as the root of ALL of the NFL’s evils? The racism, the head injuries, the stadium grift … all of it. It’s Dan Snyder who’s the reactionary. It’s Dan Snyder who’s mean to women. It’s Dan Snyder who’s blacklisted Colin Kaepernick. It’s Dan Snyder who is singlehandedly preventing Americans from seeing NFL owners as the backbone of American philanthropy. Get rid of Snyder, and you get rid of everything bad about the NFL. It’s so perfect I wanna wave a foam finger in celebration.

In response to Irsay, Snyder has already stomped his feet and made his usual big boy threats. He’s said he’s NEVER going to give up his sorry-ass team, because saying never has worked for him for so long. But we’ve now reached a tipping point where other NFL owners — who are themselves possessors of daughters, and perhaps even grandnieces — not only view him as a liability, but also view his end as a new beginning for them all. Strange this notion didn’t occur to them sooner, but you know what? Better late than never. As transparently dishonest as Irsay’s rationale may be, it’ll still work, because America hates Dan Snyder just that much. He’s the perfect chump, and no one’s gonna complain when his ass finally hits the turf. He’ll be gone, the shield’s luster will be restored, and NFL owners can go back to screwing everyone with all of the class and gracefulness you have every right to expect from them.

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