Bock’s Score: Owners Up to a Responsibility


When the NFL owners convene next week, they will have a full agenda of matters to consider.

They could start with refining the definition of the game’s roughing the passer penalty which has caused considerable misunderstanding this season. A related issue could be what to do about broadcaster and ex-quarterback Troy Aikman’s sexist crack about passers wearing dresses.

The league has already addressed the epidemic of concussions and how to deal with player safety in a sport that celebrates collisions on every play. It tends to tread very lightly in that area.

Then there is the matter of Davante Adams, the Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver who bowled over television cameraman Ryan Embley as he left the field after an annoying 30-29 loss to Kansas City. That “oops’’ moment sent the cameraman to the hospital with whiplash and a possible minor concussion and resulted in Adams being charged with misdemeanor assault. Adams, who is due in court Nov. 10, did apologize, which did not do much for Embley’s condition.

None of this is nearly as juicy though as the owners’ continuing soap opera saga with their partner, Daniel Snyder, who owns the Washington Commanders. The workplace environment of the former Redskins has been under scrutiny for some time with scandals hanging over the team, a condition that does not please Snyder’s partners. They also are not amused by the fact that he is under investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

So force him out. There is a history of that with the NBA and Major League Baseball dismissing owners who did not live up to the high standards of their partners. Snyder, however, feels safe, whispering that the other entrepreneurs won’t gang up on him because they know it could get messy. He has hinted that he has embarrassing information on them and commissioner Roger Goodell.

The team is denying any such thing, but you never know. The Washington franchise has a spotty history dating back to its earliest days when the owner was George Preston Marshall. It was Marshall who promoted a gentlemen’s agreement among the owners that kept players of color out of the NFL. The Redskins were the last team to add a black player and that came only after the government threatened to revoke the team’s 30-year lease on D.C. Stadium.

None of this prevented Marshall from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. It is unlikely that Snyder will be joining him there anytime soon.


About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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