WFT Owner Dan Snyder Files Court Papers Against Bruce Allen over Negative Press

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2021

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder filed a motion to search through communications made by former team president Bruce Allen as part of his ongoing defamation case against media outlet MEAWW.

According to Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Snyder is seeking to find out whether Allen played any role in critical stories written about the organization.

"In the California filing, Snyder's legal team notes that Allen was 'rarely, if ever,' mentioned in the exposes, despite his 'hands-on role in running the Team on a day-to-day basis,'" per Phillips

"It continues: 'This glaring omission raises further questions about Respondent’s possible role in and/or knowledge of the creation, solicitation, drafting and publication of the Defamatory Articles.'"

Snyder originally filed the suit last August after MEAWW published stories connecting him to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Washington Post also published a pair of investigations into the culture of the Washington Football Team's workplace that put the franchise under heavy scrutiny.

The first report last July didn't implicate Snyder directly, but it listed team employees who allegedly acted in an appropriate manner with coworkers and people outside the organization.

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The second report last August detailed how "Snyder has presided over an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, discriminated against and exploited."

One former employee alleged then-lead broadcaster Larry Michael directed the video staff to compile outtakes from a cheerleader photoshoot in which the women were briefly exposed. Michael allegedly indicated the video was for Snyder.

Tiffany Bacon Scourby, a former cheerleader, told the Washington Post that Snyder approached her at a 2004 charity event and said she should go up to a hotel room with one of his friends. Former cheerleader director Donald Wells said Scourby detailed the incident shortly after it happened and said, "She was more or less propositioned."

Last December, the New York TimesKen Belson and Katherine Rosman reported Snyder was at odds with a group of WFT minority shareholders. He believed one of the minority owners, Dwight Schar, "schemed to leak to the news media negative information about Snyder’s personal life and operation of the team in the hope that it would be damaging enough to compel him to sell it."

According to the motion Snyder's representatives filed, Allen was in contact with John Moag, an investment banker working with the minority shareholders.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wrote how Allen's inclusion in the lawsuit could be less about any ties with MEAWW and more focused on possible efforts to undermine Snyder more broadly behind the scenes.

Washington fired Allen in December 2019, with Jason Wright taking over as team president last August.