I’m often asked who’s the best owner in professional sports. The answer is easy: it’s the 112,000 owners of the Green Bay Packers, the only fan-owned, not-for-profit team in the United States.
I’m also often asked who’s the worst owner in the wide world of sports. This has been a tougher nut to crack: do you go with people who bankroll the right-wing fringe, like the Orlando Magic’s Dick DeVos? Or do you choose the “Slumlord Billionaire,” Los Angeles Clippers owner Don Sterling, who had to pay out the largest housing discrimination settlement in the history of the United States?
After today, I now I have an answer: it is without question the owner of Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder. Snyder already has a twelve-year track record of utter incompetence, with a dash of contempt for anyone in his line of vision. It was team legend John Riggins who once said that Snyder had a “dark heart.” He said it for good reason. This was, after all, a man whose club has taken grandmothers to court and bankrupted them for not being able to afford their season tickets and who has starred in a host of other incidents that boggle the mind in their small-mindedness. Snyder has done this while lording over a franchise with the most racist name in sports, a name that harkens back to team founder George Preston Marshall’s segregationist and proudly racist politics.
But today, Snyder really cemented his position as the worst of the worst. News has broken that the billionaire owner is trying to get longtime DC City Paper reporter Dave McKenna fired. (Team officials deny they are seeking McKenna’s ouster.)
McKenna’s crime was writing an article last November called "Cranky Redskins Fans Guide to Dan Snyder." Now we know that Snyder has threatened to bankrupt City Paper with litigation unless some undisclosed action is taken. The letter from David Donovan, the Redskins General Counsel, addressed to the small-time Hedge Fund that owns City Paper, reads,
“Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation. We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper.”