Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is reportedly ready to cash in on the Washington Post newspaper in a bid to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
The billionaire bought the Washington Post in 2013 for $250million but the New York Post are now reporting that Bezos is ‘looking to clear the way’ to get the Commanders from embattled owner Dan Snyder.
Back in December there was reported to be a deadline for any bids for the Commanders, with the team expected to be valued in the region of $5.5-6.5m.
A new report claims Jeff Bezos is preparing to make an offer for the Washington Commanders
Washington Commanders owners Tanya Snyder, left, and Dan Snyder on the field before the Dallas Cowboys defeat of the Washington Commanders 25-10 at AT&T Stadium on October 2
Snyder, along with his wife and co-CEO Tanya, announced on November 2 that they hired Bank of America Securities to explore potential transactions, but did not specify if they’re looking to sell all or just a portion of the team.
There has been reports that Snyder is looking closer to $7million for any sale.
The purchase of Chelsea Football Club in London in May 2022 by a consortium led by American Todd Boehly for $5.3billion is the current record holder. The record for the most expensive NFL team purchase was also set this year – when the Denver Broncos were bought for $4.65billion.
As for Bezos and his Washington Post ownership, a leaked video from a town hall meeting of Post employees, which showed a discussion on looming layoffs, raised suspicion that he could move on from the paper.
Publisher Fred Ryan was heard telling staff that a layoffs will take place during the first quarter of 2023.
A spokesperson for Bezos told the New York Post the Washington Post is not for sale.
But last week Front Office Sports reported through sources told that Bank of America executives are ‘courting Bezos’ over the possibility of a takeover.
Bezos, valued at $124billion by Forbes, is the second richest person in the United States.
The Snyders are exploring the possibility of selling the team, to the pleasure of many fans
A $7bn price tag for the Commanders breaks the record for most expensive team purchase
NBC Sports Washington last week detailed that a sale of the team ‘will be over soon’ but with Bezos reported to have not yet made a bid, they added that the ‘preference’ of the Snyders is not to sell to the Amazon founder.
It has been claimed that the Washington Post’s coverage of the Commanders in 2020 is behind an alleged desire not to sell to Bezos.
Bezos does have immense wealth and spending power and so it will be an interesting test for the Snyders if he does submit a bid for the team, which went 8-8-1 in this past season.
It is however much less likely that Bezos would be joined in his bid by Jay Z.
Despite previous reporting to the contrary, a source close to the rapper told DailyMail.com last month that Jay Z isn’t expected to be involved with any purchase.
Bezos has said little publicly about the possibility of expanding his empire into owning an NFL team, but did say in November that football ‘is his favorite sport’.
‘I grew up in Houston, Texas, and I played football growing up as a kid,’ Bezos told CNN.
‘It is my favorite sport. So we’ll just have to wait and see.’
The Commanders, who have won three Super Bowls, lifting the Lombardi Trophy in 1983, 1988 and 1992, are reportedly viewed by potential investors as a sleeping giant franchise in a major market.
Should Snyder strike a deal to sell the team, the sale would still need to be approved by at least three-quarters of the league’s other owners.
A Washington Commanders fan looks on while wearing a sign that reads ‘Sell The Team’ during the second quarter between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders at Soldier Field on October 13, 2022 in Chicago
A potential deal for the Commanders would likely include FedEx Field, although a new stadium remains a goal for the NFL franchise
Both Snyder and the Commanders are still being investigated by the league over accusations of sexual assault and financial malpractice within the organization.
That probe is being conducted by Mary Jo White, the former chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on the heels of previous investigations by the NFL and Congressional House Oversight Committee.
The team has already been fined $10m by the NFL and Snyder voluntarily seeded temporary control of the Commanders to Tanya following the first league investigation into hostile workplace and sexual harassment claims.
The newer, ongoing investigation was launched last spring to verify subsequent claims of misbehavior, including former team employee Tiffani Johnston’s allegation that Snyder grabbed her thigh at a team dinner and pressured her to get into a limousine.
Snyder has denied this accusation.
Ex-Commanders employee Tiffani Johnston told Congress’ Oversight Committee that Snyder once groped her thigh during a team dinner and pushed her toward his limousine with his hand on her lower back. Snyder has denied the allegation
The Commanders created a ‘toxic work culture’ for more than two decades, according to the Committee’s report, which claims the team ignored sexual misconduct by high-ranking men within the organization.
Snyder was directly involved in the misconduct, the Committee claims, saying he inappropriately touched a former employee at a dinner and once requested a staff-produced video ‘of sexually suggestive footage of cheerleaders.’ Snyder previously denied the claims.
He allegedly interfered in NFL and Committee probes stemming from 2020 allegations of rampant sexual harassment by executives, according to the report. Specifically, Snyder is accused of offering hush money to witnesses, intimidating others with the help of private investigators, ‘blocking the production of documents,’ and refusing to release former employees from non-disclosure agreements.
While prominent Washington DC attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm handled the NFL’s initial probe in 2020, Snyder also conducted his own ‘shadow investigation,’ casting ‘him as the victim of a defamation campaign.’
The shadow investigation was done, in part, to ‘deflect responsibility for the team’s toxic work culture,’ according to the congressional report.
And when he did testify to the committee, according to the report, Snyder was evasive and misleading, claiming more than 100 times that he had no memory of certain details.
‘For example, although Mr. Snyder admitted to using private investigators, he testified that he was ”unaware” whom his investigators approached and did not ”remember” having conversations with his counsel about the individuals targeted,’ read the report.
Redskins cheerleaders seen dancing as part of a 2004 event, where Tiffany Bacon Scourby claims Snyder suggested she spend some time with a close friend of his in a nearby hotel room
Fired Commanders president Bruce Allen testified that Snyder planned to use private investigators to follow himself and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
Publicizing their findings before the Republicans take over Congress next month, the Committee’s Democrats also accused Snyder or his staff of leaking racially derogatory, years-old emails from former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who was subsequently fired by that team last season.
In the emails, which were sent more than a decade ago in some cases, Gruden said African-American players’ union executive director DeMaurice Smith had ‘lips the size of Michelin tires’ and also called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a ‘f*****.’
According to congressional testimony by former Commanders team president Bruce Allen, the recipient of the emails, Snyder made the leak in late 2021 to ‘send a message’ to Allen, one of his perceived enemies.
‘According to Mr. Allen, Mr. Snyder’s actions signaled that ”he owns me with these emails, which affect my coworkers, the alumni, my family and friends,”’ read an excerpt from the 79-page report released Thursday.
When Allen asked a member of the NFL’s legal team why the league had leaked the emails to the Wall Street Journal, the attorney allegedly told former Commanders President: ‘We didn’t do it at the league office. It came out of [the team’s] side.’
Snyder privately settled that sexual harassment allegation in 2009 for $1.6 million following an incident aboard his private plane, the Washington Post reported in 2020. The woman, a former team employee, claims Snyder asked her for sex, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes while the pair were on a team plane returning from Las Vegas.