Updated as of 11/12/2022 at 8:00 a.m. ET
The Washington Commanders franchise seems to love making trouble for themselves.
Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine stated on November 9th that he would be making a major announcement in a press conference about the Commanders and allegations of financial improprieties.
Racine has since announced a formal lawsuit against Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, the team, and the NFL, alleging that all parties colluded to deceive fans about the league’s investigation into the team’s toxic workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault,” according to ESPN.
The reason AG Racine cites his office can sue in the lawsuit is the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. This power would give the Attorney General authority to hold individuals or companies accountable for misleading customers. Racine also stated he plans to subpoena Snyder and former employees and seeks unspecified financial penalties for every incident in which the parties lied to residents dating back to July 2020.
“For years, the team and its owner have caused very real and very serious harm and then lied about it to dodge accountability and to continue to rake in profits,” Racine said Thursday. “So far they seem to have gotten away with it, but that stops today.”
Before this announcement, a Washington Commanders spokesperson released a bizarre statement going after Racine for what they call “out of control” crime in D.C. and tying it to the shooting of running back Brian Robinson Jr.
From the Commanders:
“Less than three months ago, a 23-year-old player on our team was shot multiple times, in broad daylight,” a team spokesperson said in a statement, referring to the shooting of running back Brian Robinson Jr. “Despite the out-of-control violent crime in DC, today the Washington Commanders learned for the first time on Twitter that the D.C. Attorney General will be holding a press conference to ‘make a major announcement’ related to the organization tomorrow.
The Commanders have fully cooperated with the AG’s investigation for nearly a year. As recently as Monday, a lawyer for the team met with the AG who did not suggest at that time that he intended to take any action and, in fact, revealed fundamental misunderstandings of the underlying facts. It is unfortunate that, in his final days in office, Mr. Racine appears more interested in making splashy headlines, based on offbeat legal theories, rather than doing the hard work of making the streets safe for our citizens, including bringing to justice the people who shot one of our players.”
This is a terrible statement that comes at the expense of a current player who was shot twice during a carjacking attempt. The DC Police department has since arrested those involved, and the running back returned to the team a few days after the incident. The statement also calls out Attorney General Racine, who is only leaving his post because he chose not to seek a third term.
Statements like these seem to try to deflect from the ongoing financial and workplace scandals the Commanders franchise and Snyder himself are trying to get away from. It’s so bad that Snyder has hinted at selling the team.
Brian Robinson Jr.’s agent, Ryan Williams, was disgusted by the statement and addressed it in a Twitter post.
“Up until an hour ago, the Commanders handled the Brian Robinson situation with so much care, sincerity and class. And I was so grateful for all of it. Although I know that there are some great humans in that building, whoever hides behind this statement is not one of them.”
Team president Jason Wright attempted to play clean-up in a follow-up post, saying the statement came from an “external council.” If you’re Brian Robinson Jr., why would you want to keep playing for the Commanders?