Even when it seems personal, it’s never personal; it’s strictly business.
The unrest in Washington’s front office, which seemed to have its roots in hard feelings between majority owner Daniel Snyder and a trio of minority shareholders, actually traces to money.
As explained by the New York Times, the problems arose when Snyder deferred paying annual dividends to Fred Smith, Dwight Schar, and Robert Rothman in late April. The dispute over money has sparked an arbitration proceeding, pursuant to league rules that nudge such disputes away from the court system and into alternative resolution procedures.
The turmoil has resulted in efforts to sell the minority shares, along with a request that Snyder simply buy them out.
In June, Snyder reportedly ejected all three of his partners from the team’s board of directors. The minority partners then asked the league to intervene. The Commissioner’s office appointed an arbitrator in late June.
It therefore should be less surprising, in hindsight, that FedEx (the company founded by Smith and a major sponsor of the team) went public in early July with a request that the team change its name. It also should be less surprising that Snyder is trying to prove that one of his partners (or possibly more than one) had a role in allegedly defamatory information being published about Snyder.
Some believe the minority partners are trying to force Snyder to sell his stake in the team. Per the Times, Snyder remains intent on keeping his equity interest and eventually transferring it to his children.