Instead of offering sympathy for the WFT victims, Tanya Snyder showed it only for herself

·Yahoo Sports Columnist
·7 min read

The very purpose — the entire raison d'être — of doing a post-scandal interview is to show even a modicum of remorse for what transpired, to offer a canned semi-apology to those who were wronged, to conjure even a whiff of acknowledgement toward anyone that got ensnared in the tentacles of it all.

Given that opportunity, repeatedly, on one of the friendliest platforms she could find, Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder could not be bothered to do any of those things.

Snyder was on "The Adam Schefter Podcast" this week and wasn't able to muster even a perfunctory attempt at acknowledging the dozens of women who endured a toxic workplace in WFT offices for years.

But she'd like you to know it's been a very tough year for her and her family.

Passing the buck, or centering yourself, or using the "I'm sorry to anyone that was offended" route has become all too common. Very few people, particularly people with a certain amount of influence, show true remorse publicly.

When it's a situation like this one, it's even more disappointing. One where women from all walks of life, from cheerleaders to office employees to even reporters covering the team, are subjected to lewd comments and unwanted advances, and find out their dream job is so fraught with misogynistic minefields that new female employees are pulled aside and offered a handbook of sorts for how to navigate them and incur minimal injury while trying to simply do their work.

Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder blew a chance to show remorse for the victims of the franchise's toxic workplace culture, overseen by husband Dan Snyder. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder blew a chance to show remorse for the victims of the franchise's toxic workplace culture, overseen by husband Dan Snyder. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tanya Snyder didn't even have to trot out the trite, "as the father of daughters ..." line that so many men have regurgitated. She is a woman, she is a daughter, she has three sisters, and still is unmoved.

But when it comes to the maelstrom of manure that has been swirling around WFT over the last few years — which includes the aforementioned stories, but also 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins turning out to be a bust, and the begrudging, overdue decision to change the slur that doubled as the team nickname — Snyder followed the well-worn path her husband has trod through much of his 22 years of dysfunctional ownership.

Not our fault.

A couple of minutes into the interview, the topic of "the last year" is introduced with a note that Washington was fined $10 million by the NFL after it completed its investigation (the results of which have not been made public), and that Snyder became the person in charge of the day-to-day of the franchise. There was no explanation as to why Tanya Snyder was named co-CEO with Dan, or why WFT got that fine, which is a lot of money to most of us but not for a man who spent $3 million to have an IMAX theater installed on his $100 million yacht.

And poor Tanya Snyder just got so sad about all of it.

"It's been one of the most difficult years in mine, Dan, and I know my family's lives," Snyder said. "But I think being on the other side of where we are and learning just a tremendous amount, and my style and my wish is to turn all of these into blessings, to make the most of where we are today. We're 100 percent owners [the Snyders recently bought out the minority owners of the club] and we're in a much stronger position to be able to make each and every change we need to make. So for that, I'm very excited."

"It's hard. I get a lump in my throat and it's a cross between a crime show and a nightmare movie, but I'm here to tell you that today I know we're doing everything possible and where we've ended up and where we're heading, I couldn't be more excited."

"Why do you get a lump in your throat?" she was asked. 

It was the perfect opportunity to offer some kind of remorse, any semblance of recognition of the dozens of women whose stories led to her publicly getting an official title with the WFT.

She didn't take the opportunity.

"Well I just think it's the pain that from our family, from our children, and you know, just a lot of the tough times that we've gone through, and as you know, the media. It is what it is, everyone is going to say whatever, and I guess when you don't have a voice out there people can say whatever and that has been the case, so ... and that's what I mean."

Ah, yes, the media. It was all the media's fault.

It was "the media" who were standing under the glass staircase in the team facility to try to look up women's skirts and dresses. 

It was "the media" who allegedly told a cheerleader she should go to a hotel room with the team ophthalmologist to "get to know him better."

It was "the media" who brought cheerleaders to a foreign country and then took their passports from them while having them pose semi-nude with leering suite holders drooling not far away, completely unbeknownst to them. 

It was "the media" who constantly made comments to women about their clothing choices. 

It was "the media" that edited together lewd outtakes from cheerleader photo shoots, showing their bare breasts and genital areas — called “the good bits” or “the good parts” — into a video to give to Dan Snyder.

"The media" did none of those things. The media, in this case the Washington Post and the New York Times, did what it is supposed to do. It shined a light onto the appalling working conditions within one franchise in the NFL, the league that has done all of the window dressing to make it look like it cares about women, only to slow-walk the WFT investigation and ultimately protect Dan Snyder by telling the lead investigator she didn't have to produce a written report.

Now the woman allegedly put in charge to clean up the mess doesn't seem to care about it, just about how it's all affected her.

The victims noticed Tanya Snyder's tone-deaf words, too.

"This whole thing has been insulting to our intelligence," Megan Imbert told Yahoo Sports. "The lack of acknowledgement [from Snyder], this self-centered arrogance, that aura of ego we’ve seen and we know. She showed her colors of what that duo really is. 

"They lead and own that organization together. She says she was in the background [before being named co-CEO], which might be true, but based on what she said it was all about her, her family, not taking accountability."

Imbert left Washington in 2011, after several years in the team's broadcast department, rising from intern to Emmy-winning producer. When she left the organization, she didn't have another job; she had to leave because taking care of herself was most important. She did listen to Snyder's interview with Schefter.

"[Snyder said] she had to stop reading [the investigator's findings] and said it was 'too ridiculous' — is that because you were completely stunned, or are you implying it wasn't real. It left us feeling completely discredited ... We've shed a light on the truth but somehow you're the victim of the past year?"

Imbert highlighted Snyder's allegation that neither she nor her husband had a voice during the process, and is right that it's specious. They always had the chance to offer their side of things, and never did.

When Tanya Snyder finally spoke this week, the only person she showed any sympathy for was herself.

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