Paulsen On Snyder Selling Team: “I Wouldn’t Bet On It”

Fifteen former employees have accused Washington’s NFL team of sexual harassment and verbal abuse; a punishment from the league seems likely, if not inevitable

Zach Gelb
July 17, 2020 - 8:38 am
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Fifteen former employees for Washington’s NFL team have accused the organization of sexual harassment and verbal abuse, as reported by The Washington Post on Thursday. Owner Dan Snyder was not directly implicated in the allegations, but he has come under attack for fostering a culture in which such behavior was permitted.

A punishment from the league seems likely, if not inevitable.

“Yeah, how could the league not do something?” D.C.’s 106.7 The Fan host Grant Paulsen said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I don’t think he’ll have the team stripped or be forced to sell, but they do have to do something. Is that a fine? Is that some type of punishment as far as something that affects the football team? I don’t know.”

The franchise hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct an “independent review” of these allegations and “help the team set new employee standards for the future.” Wilkinson worked for the U.S. Justice Department and took part in high-profile cases involving Brett Kavanaugh and Michael Flynn.

“You’re talking about one of the heaviest-[hitting], big-swinging . . . attorneys in the entire country,” Paulsen said. “You don’t hire that person because you got parking tickets you’re trying to sort out. They are anticipating that while this story was massive, it could be the beginning of a larger fight. They’re going to try to have an internal investigation that she leads in their building to help clean up their culture, and that’s great. But . . . something from the league probably has to be done.”

Zach Gelb does not believe a fine or suspension would suffice. In fact, if the allegations are true, he believes that Snyder will ultimately be forced to sell the team.

“He won’t be the first boss that falls at the end of something like this that doesn’t directly involve them,” Paulsen said. “It’s not like your name was linked to any of these women’s claims, but it’s your company. You run the outfit. Just like a quarterback after a turnover or a coach after a loss, you got to stand there and answer those questions, and I completely agree. No one is going to feel bad for him if that happens. I wonder if the league would be willing to set that precedent.”

Paulsen believes it’s “very possible” that Snyder could be forced to sell.

“I’m not telling you it’s not going to happen,” he said. “I wouldn’t bet on it. I wouldn’t be surprised. But you’re not the only person saying that, and I don’t think it would be a stunner by any means. It’s not like his track record or resume is one that the league says, ‘Well, we can’t possibly move forward without Dan Snyder.’ You’re talking about a guy who has ran a team poorly for almost 30 years, who is not particularly popular with the other owners. I don’t think those things will necessarily help him either.”