Apr 20, 2022 - Sports

Washington Commanders fire back at FTC

Illustration of the Washington Commander's logo peeling back to reveal a hundred dollar bill on the reverse side.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Washington Commanders sent a 17-page letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, denying allegations of financial impropriety detailed last week by the House Oversight Committee.

Why it matters: Dan Snyder has a history of responding to allegations by digging his heels in, but Congress presents a formidable foe in this D.C.-based drama.

What they're saying: The Commanders rebutted all three alleged schemes involving improper ticket sales, withholding ticket revenue, and keeping $5 million worth of customers' security deposits.

  • In the letter, the team questioned the credibility of Jason Friedman, whose testimony drove the allegations, calling him a "disgruntled, lying former employee" who didn't have visibility into or expertise on their accounting practices.
  • Friedman's character was also questioned, as the team called him a "serial liar" who "created a culture of fear" before being fired in October 2020 for professional misconduct.
  • The Commanders say Friedman contacted them nearly 20 times asking for his job back between his firing and January 2022, when the team president rejected him. He testified weeks later.

The other side: "If the team maintains that it has nothing to hide, it should welcome an independent review by the FTC," said a House Oversight Committee spokesperson.

  • Eight former Commanders employees, all women, said the letter was a "clear attempt" to smear Friedman while "distracting the public from the truth: that the Snyders operate a franchise rooted in corrupt and toxic behavior."
  • Friedman's lawyers also responded to the letter, saying he "stands by his testimony [and] is happy to answer follow-up questions from Congress, the FTC, or any government agency."

What's next: The FTC will now determine whether or not to open an investigation.

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