Tanya Snyder is in ‘action mode’ entering first season as WFT co-CEO

Tanya Snyder in 'action mode' entering first year as WFT co-CEO originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Tanya Snyder was “horrified” by the numerous allegations levied against the Washington Football Team’s culture and workplace environment last year, she told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a new episode of Schefter’s podcast released Tuesday.

In her first interview since being named the club’s co-CEO in June, Snyder said she is determined to make a difference in the future.

“Where it puts me is wanting to dig my heels in stronger and get off the bench, stand up, get active and just go into action mode,” Snyder said. “And that’s exactly what I’ve done.”

Snyder’s appearance on Schefter’s pod is the first major, on-the-record interview that she’s done since the NFL’s investigation found Washington fostered a ‘very toxic’ organizational culture.

The most notable consequence from the league’s findings into the scathing allegations was the temporary removal of owner Dan Snyder from his day-to-day role within the organization, though he was not suspended nor was the family forced to sell the team. The Washington Football Team was fined $10 million. 

Tanya Snyder was given her new title just days before that news broke — though she told Schefter discussions about becoming co-CEO had been going on “for a while” before it happened.

Since the leadership adjustment atop the team’s power structure, questions naturally arose about what Tanya Snyder’s duties would be until her husband’s return. She clarified that vision during her discussion with Schefter.

As Snyder explained it, she’s either been at FedEx Field or present at the squad’s training facility in Ashburn, Va. consistently since late June. She also said she’s made a point to meet “each and every person” involved with the organization as Washington attempts to become “the best franchise in the NFL.”

“I’m everywhere,” Snyder said.

Tanya Snyder also says she’s been a prominent figure in Washington’s search for a new name as well as its plans for a potential new stadium to replace FedEx Field.

In the past, Snyder said she would offer input and feedback on issues she wanted to see better handled or improved, but ultimately “nothing happened” in most of those instances. She’s excited to have more of a voice in the team’s direction, comparing her present situation to a backup quarterback finally given an opportunity to lead the offense.

“When you’re watching someone throw a ball and you’re like, ‘Oh, I would’ve done this, I would’ve done that,’ I’m diving in,” Tanya Snyder said. “I’m so excited and I’m able to implement and make changes that I’ve wanted to make for a long time.”

Beyond describing what’s transpired in the last 18 months as “horrifying,” Tanya Snyder called the stretch “a cross between … a crime show and a nightmare movie.”

She was especially upset that her children had to deal with the intense blowback that followed and even brought up the idea of the family simply moving into a new stage of life beyond football.

“I think we could’ve very easily ran away and been fine and sailed away and — I think a few people have even asked us that — [been] drinking piña coladas,” Snyder said. “That’s not who we are. That’s not what I want to teach my kids.” 

Instead, Washington decided to assemble a group of leaders Snyder called “the best in class in all different categories” as part of their effort to rebuild its image and refocus its direction.

Team president Jason Wright is an example of one such hire. When he and Dan Snyder met on a Zoom call, it was like a “love connection,” Tanya recalled. She expressed tremendous respect for Ron Rivera, too, who was named head coach six months before the tumultuous summer of 2020 where the sexual harassment allegations and the team nickname change dominated the headlines. Around the same time, Rivera was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatments well into the season.  

While the exact timeline of Dan Snyder’s path back to his usual position with Washington is unclear, Tanya made sure to mention that the family is “100 percent” in charge of the team, which became official this past April when a trio of then-minority owners divested. That’s yet another reason why she’s optimistic for what’s to come.

“We’re in a much stronger position to be able to make each and every change we need to make,” Snyder said. “Where we’ve ended up and where we’re heading, I couldn’t be more excited.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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