There has been a lot said over the past few weeks about the controversy surrounding the Washington DC NFL Franchise’s name, however, this may quickly become old news. Rumors of “disappointing and sad” news coming out of our nation’s capital have been swirling for the past few days, and this could be incredibly damaging to the team and their image. At first, it seemed like a rumor that may have been over exaggerated. However, these rumors have picked up steam over the past few days, and we may be seeing what exactly this news is very soon.
Washington owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera released joint statements on July 3rd indicating the team would undergo a review of it’s ever controversial name. The name has historically been used as a racial slur targeted towards Native Americans, and while there has always been an outcry to change the name, it wasn’t until recently that real steps were taken to address this outrage. On July 13, the team announced that they would be retiring their current name and logo. This is right around the time the rumors of a massive bombshell started to circulate.
Podcast host JP Finlay tweeted out late Sunday night that news out of DC would not just contain a name change, and it would not all be pretty.
Other tweets sang a similar tune to Finlay’s for most of the week, with grim warnings such as Jason La Canfora’s seeming to foreshadow the exposure of an incredibly toxic culture.
Washington is no stranger to the expose hit piece. In 2013, The New York Times detailed involving the team’s cheerleaders in which team executives made the cheerleaders take topless or mostly nude photos during a team calendar photoshoot. Not only would the crude pictures be used in marketing material or merchandise, the team had invited spectators to watch these photos be taken. After that, some of the cheerleaders claim that they were forced to be personal escorts for some of the sponsors to a nightclub. While the arrangement didn’t involve sex, they felt as if Washington was “pimping us out.”
This scandal broke in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit by two other former NFL cheerleaders who alleged that NFL cheerleaders were “often dangled as sex objects for the titillation of male fans away from the games.” The team did deny these claims, and the NFL released a statement saying that they had no role in how teams who actually had cheerleaders used them. Two other cheerleaders present defended the team in 2018, but the report had already left a black eye on the team’s image.
This is where I have to stress that everything from here on out are strictly rumors. Nothing has been confirmed as of right now, this is currently all speculation. First, Mike Florio tweeted on Tuesday about the possibility of a Washington Post article dropping that “could cause some problems for the franchise.” Next, Chad Forbes chimed in saying that this article could be a potential coup, while insinuating that minority owners in the team were fed up to the point that they may be looking to sell their share of the franchise.
While not immediately clear as to what this report would include, it seems as if it is damning enough that Dan Snyder is looking to move on as quickly as he possibly can. John Gonzalez of ABC Washington reported that this information “could come out in just hours.” There is no way of knowing for sure what this expose will include, but there have been very conspicuous moves made regarding the team’s personnel. The team fired Director of Pro Personnel Alex Santos and assistant Richard Mann II for unknown reasons on Sunday, and longtime broadcaster announcer Larry Michael announced he was leaving the broadcast booth after 16 seasons on Wednesday. While it is currently unclear if these moves are related, the timing of it all is interesting to say the least.
Stay tuned to 366 Sports and follow us on Twitter @366Sports to stay up to date with this as things continue to develop in DC.
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