Even Roger Goodell isn’t sure if Daniel Snyder runs the Commanders

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on head injuries in football

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The punishment (it’s still unclear whether it was voluntary or not) against Commanders owner Daniel Snyder came at the end of a lengthy statement released by the league on July 1. It is still unclear whether he fully complies with the requirements.

“Tanya Snyder will assume responsibility for all day-to-day team operations and will represent the club in all league meetings and other league activities for at least the next few months,” read the league’s first press release. “Dan Snyder will focus on a new stadium plan and other matters.”

In March, Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that nothing had changed in this regard.

“Dan Snyder wasn’t involved in day-to-day operations,” Goodell told reporters at league meetings in March. “Don’t think he was at the facility at all and if we continue to have league matters Tanya has represented the team as CEO both on a day-to-day basis and here and will continue to be so for at least the foreseeable future, but Dan and I will be talking about it at some point .”

Shortly after that Washington Times reported that Snyder had indeed resumed his daily role. The League declined to comment on the report, echoing Goodell’s comments, although the report sharply contradicted Goodell’s statements.

Now that Goodell is poised to appear before the House Oversight Committee later today, his opening remarks deftly create a safe haven that will keep him from ever being accused of lying to Congress: “We have unparalleled discipline at the club imposed – fines well over $10 million and requirements that the club implement a set of recommendations and allow an outside firm to conduct periodic reviews of their workplace. Additionally, Daniel Snyder has not attended league or committee meetings for the past year and has not, to my knowledge, been involved in the day-to-day operations of the Commanders.”

In other words, Goodell says that if Snyder has resumed his daily role, Goodell doesn’t know. Which raises an obvious question. Why not? Did Goodell just shrug at the report that Snyder was pushing the limits of his role on the team? Did he cover his ears and repeat the magic words “I’m not listening”?

The report from the Times alerting the league that Snyder may be violating the terms of his punishment. Hopefully the committee will press Goodell on what he knew when he knew and what he did to find out more when it became apparent that there seemed to be more to find out.