RICHMOND, Va. -- Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder did something her husband has long shied away from: She spent a portion of practice throwing souvenirs to fans and then addressed the crowd of several thousand after practice, her first public comments since assuming a greater role in the organization.
Tanya Snyder was named co-CEO on June 29 and has assumed more of the day-to-day responsibilities of running the franchise while her husband, Dan Snyder, stepped away from that role to focus on finding a new stadium site.
Washington was fined $10 million earlier this month for what the NFL termed a toxic culture, based on the findings of a nearly yearlong independent investigation.
"I have been on the sidelines for 22 years, and I'm much more active and involved now with my husband," Tanya said to the assembled crowd on Fan Appreciation Day. "We couldn't be more excited about our new leadership [team] that are wonderful. They're so strong. Outside of football and the best in their class of everything they've done. So you're going to see a lot of great growth and listening to all of our fans."
Tanya Snyder has been visible at various workouts throughout the week and spoke at a banquet for sponsors. Her husband had been a constant presence in the past. Then, on Saturday, Tanya Snyder walked the sidelines and tossed souvenir shirts or little footballs to the fans.
"Watch out, I don't want to hurt anybody," she said at one point.
Tanya Snyder tossing souvenirs to fans. pic.twitter.com/c3weTWiOgt— John Keim (@john_keim) July 31, 2021
Team president Jason Wright accompanied her. On Wednesday, he told ESPN that her increased role might mean an adjustment for fans or others outside the organization but not for anyone on the inside.
"Coach [Ron Rivera] and I have had the experience where Tanya and Dan have been side by side through this entire thing," Wright said. "They hired him together; they've been in every meeting together. They've been deeply engaged with him. That's how it's been with me. I haven't had a meeting where the two of them are separate unless one of them has a meeting [at the same time]. They have been in lockstep with me from the beginning.
"Dan has built his business by being a classic entrepreneur and having the big idea and then trusting people to execute and build the infrastructure. Tanya is a person of details. She's a person of great instinct for customer experience."
Wright said there was one time when he and the Snyders were having a heated debate over a topic. It went back and forth and, he said, became emotional regarding what the right direction was for the situation.
"Tanya stepped in and said, 'I'm going to end this conversation right now. Here are the facts that matter most,'" Wright said, "and she looked at Dan and said, 'These are the three facts that matter most. Do we agree on those. We agree, so we can stop debating on any of those things on the periphery of those. It is clear what the direction forward was.' That incisiveness she brought where we were having real friction was really important. When we're having our meetings, I am setting the agenda and I am bringing the business strategy to them, and they're reacting like good founders and board of directors will do. ... That dynamic has worked really well."
Wright said he communicates with Tanya Snyder by text message almost every day and meets in person with her probably twice a week.
"That's the right cadence for me to keep them in the loop," Wright said.