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By the Book: How Removing an NFL Owner Would Work

Mar 7, 2023

There are less than a thousand words laying out the process the NFL has never used: the removal of one of its owners.

While there have been indications that Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder could be the first, it’s not as straightforward as just taking a vote to yank a franchise for conduct detrimental to the league.

For the process laid out in the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws to even start, Commissioner Roger Goodell or one of the owners would have to submit “charges” against one of their own. Goodell then would conduct an investigation “as he deems appropriate” and “make his recommendation thereon to the member clubs.”

The male-centric wording hints at how long ago this section of the NFL Constitution was written, which predates Georgia Frontiere becoming the first woman controlling owner in 1979 when her husband, Carroll Rosenbloom, drowned off the coast of Florida.

“The imprecise language leaves much to be desired,” sports law attorney Dan Wallach said. “The ambiguous wording could understandably lead to a concern that the procedures are so amorphous and poorly defined that the league could be subject to legal challenges.”

The league didn’t get far down the road on other owners accused of misconduct.

Source: Front Office Sports

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