The Washington Commanders have moved one step closer to a new owner after a group of billionaires, including Josh Harris and NBA legend Magic Johnson, “officially made a $6 billion offer.”
The future of the NFL team has been up in the air since embattled owner Dan Snyder brought in Bank of America last year to investigate a possible sale of the team, and so far no interested party had reached its high valuation.
However, now ESPN insider Adam Schefter reports that the group led by Harris and Mitchell Rales has now officially submitted its fully funded offer to Snyder.
Harris already owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, while also co-owning Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Rales, meanwhile, has no history of owning a sports franchise, but has an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion.
Magic Johnson (L) teams up with Josh Harris (R) in an attempt to buy Washington Commanders
A fully funded $6 billion offer has been submitted to current owner Dan Snyder (pictured)
Snyder, 58, has faced calls from fans for years to sell the struggling team, but pressure has mounted since 2020 amid allegations of sexual harassment, financial impropriety and obstruction against the team and Snyder himself.
Allegations of sexual harassment against team members ranged from inappropriate comments to making a lewd behind-the-scenes video of a 2008 cheerleading calendar shoot, according to the 2020 Washington Post report who first exposed the claims. A former cheerleader also claimed that Snyder suggested she go to a hotel room with his “good friend” in 2004 so they could “get to know each other.”
Snyder denied this claim in a 2020 statement: “I want to state unequivocally that this never happened.”
Although the commanders fired many of the individuals accused of sexual harassment and paid a $10 million fine to the NFL, Snyder has defiantly denied the allegations against him in light of several investigations, including a congressional investigation.
Both Snyder and the Commanders are under investigation by former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White, who has been appointed by the NFL to investigate allegations arising from a congressional investigation into hostile workplace claims, as well as a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for possible business malpractice .
In particular, former team aide Tiffani Johnston alleged to the committee that Snyder grabbed her thigh during a team dinner and pressured her to get into a limousine.
Snyder has denied this claim, which the league is now investigating.
Another woman, Melanie Coburn, said she was at Snyder’s home in Aspen when he hosted a party with prostitutes for male employees.
“I returned to Dan Snyder’s house, but was sent to my room in the basement and told to stay there,” Coburn told the House Oversight Committee. ‘Later I heard from a colleague that it was because the men had invited prostitutes.’
Monday has the Washington Times reported that Snyder has refused to speak to White, although a spokesperson for the team declined to comment when asked about it.
And those aren’t the only legal issues facing Snyder other civil proceedings and investigations.
The District of Columbia Attorney General has filed a pair of civil suits against the Commanders over an alleged plan to defraud fans of season ticket bails and allegations that the club, Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell misled fans about the initial investigation in hostile workplace claims.
That NFL investigation was resolved in 2010 with a $10 million fine against the team and Snyder’s agreement to distance himself from club operations, but the league never produced a written report, citing witness confidentiality.
The commanders also settled with Maryland over the aforementioned bail schedule and agreed to pay a $250,000 fine.
Before the Republican takeover of Congress, the formerly Democrat-led Oversight Committee investigated the commanders for sexual harassment allegations, leading to the revelation about the alleged bail bond scam.
Snyder did speak to the committee, albeit behind closed doors, while Goodell testified publicly about the team’s investigation.
As a sequel to The Washington Post’s recent report that Snyder sought compensation if he sold the team, ESPN reported on March 1 that FBI and IRS agents are investigating allegations that Snyder took out a $55 million loan without the knowledge of his then-minority partners.
After years of litigation, Snyder bought out minority owners Dwight Schar, a housing manager, Black Diamond Capital CEO Bob Rothman, and FedEx founder Fred Smith in the spring of 2021. The trio had previously filed a court order in hopes of being allowed to sell their 40.5 percent stake in the team, which Snyder eventually bought after the NFL approved a debt-limit waiver that allowed him to take out a $450 million loan. at Bank of America.
Now a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas related to team finances, according to ESPN.
The former minority partners reportedly demanded an NFL investigation into the alleged $55 million loan during a confidential arbitration hearing, but at least one source with knowledge of the proceedings told ESPN that Schar, Smith and Rothman believed league commissioner Roger Goodell and general counsel Jeffrey Pash on Snyder’s side.
If Snyder took out the $55 million loan without informing his now-former minority partners, it would have violated the team’s shareholder agreement, according to documents obtained by the AP.
Bank of America officials repeatedly asked for evidence that the board had approved the loan, but they closed the deal without receiving any such confirmation. Documents obtained by the AP show a team lawyer acknowledging in a letter that the board’s approval was never granted.
A Bank of America spokesperson declined to comment to DailyMail.com.
Less than a week after Schar, Rothman and Smith pressured NFL arbitrators to investigate the loan, the NFL decided to end the arbitration process, documents show.
Frustrated, Schar, Rothman and Smith hesitantly agreed to allow Goodell to mediate the dispute, according to ESPN.
The NFL did not investigate the loan, and Snyder was never disciplined for the financial misconduct claims.
The commander’s attorney, John Brownlee, did not respond to ESPN questions about the alleged $55 million loan, but did say the team is cooperating with the DOJ’s request for financial records.
The team has largely been terrible since Snyder took ownership in 1999. Washington, a three-time Super Bowl winner and five-time NFL champion, has reached the postseason just six times during Snyder’s tenure. Current head coach, Ron Rivera, is Snyder’s 10th since taking charge of the team.
Throughout Snyder’s tenure, the team has been criticized for its now-former nickname, the Redskins, considered offensive to Native Americans.
The Washington team eventually reverted to the Commanders in 2022 after dropping the Redskins name in 2020 under a gulf investigation following the George Floyd protests.