“To Commanders followers, our promise is straightforward: we’ll work tirelessly to make you pleased with this franchise once more, like my household was after I grew up right here,” Harris mentioned throughout a day press convention at FedEx Subject, flanked by different members of the brand new crew proprietor. “It isn’t going to be simple. My job is to supply a company that may win. It is on me, and it is on us right here. Our work begins at the moment and I am so excited to take this journey with the town.
NFL house owners approve sale of Commanders from Daniel Snyder to Josh Harris
Harris and Mitchell Rales, his major investor within the Commanders, had been within the DC space on Friday after attending Thursday’s NFL assembly in Minnesota.
“We’re right here to essentially rebuild this from the underside up, in the correct method, participating everybody in a passionate and galvanizing method,” Rales mentioned. “And we’ll want everybody’s assist right here.”
Harris and Rales had been joined by different buyers on the crew, together with NBA nice Earvin “Magic” Johnson, DC-area enterprise capitalist Mark Ein and Harris’ companion in Harris Blitzer Sports activities & Leisure David Blitzer.
“When Josh and I spoke, the very first thing I mentioned was, ‘Do you wish to win?'” Johnson mentioned. “And he mentioned sure. I mentioned, “I am into it,” as a result of I do not put money into sports activities groups… for my ego. I make investments to earn. And we wish to change all the pieces that is occurred to this franchise. We see the winners within the entrance row. Not solely did they win the Tremendous Bowl. Additionally they made the group nice. And we wish to invite the group to be a part of what we’re constructing right here.
Former franchise massive names similar to Doug Williams, Darrell Inexperienced and Dexter Manley sat close by as the brand new house owners spoke on the press convention. Joe Gibbs, the crew’s former coach and three-time Tremendous Bowl winner, was additionally current.
“Washington followers are passionate,” Harris mentioned. “…The response was overwhelming. We’re so grateful for the way we’re welcomed. We additionally know as a result of we have already finished it in Philadelphia that we have now to ship. Followers must be conscious and try to be conscious that there are plenty of sleepless nights. It is a tremendous day for me. However I am confused. Coaching camp is subsequent week and the primary recreation is six weeks away.
The press convention came about similtaneously a gathering of followers. It was a day full of hope that higher days are at hand for the franchise.
“I’ve waited seven years to see the fanbase like this,” Commanders defensive lineman Jonathan Allen advised followers.
Vast receiver Terry McLaurin mentioned, “There’s plenty of optimism about what the long run could maintain. There’s plenty of pleasure. It looks like somewhat weight has been lifted off everybody’s shoulders.
The Harris group formally took possession of the commanders 5 days earlier than the crew’s coaching camp opens on Wednesday. Harris, a non-public investor, already owned the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. He and Blitzer should promote their shares within the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers now that the take care of Snyder is full.
Snyder is formally leaving the NFL after a turbulent 24-year possession tenure. He pays the NFL $60 million as a part of closing the sale after the league’s investigation by legal professional Mary Jo White discovered the crew withheld income it ought to have shared with different franchises and that Snyder sexually harassed a former crew worker.
Investigation finds COs hid revenue, Snyder harassed crew worker
Harris mentioned he expects “excellence, dignity, respect and inclusiveness” to outline the group’s tradition going ahead.
“Quite a lot of issues occurred that had been unlucky,” Harris mentioned. “We give attention to tradition change. I believe plenty of issues have been finished, hopefully. I imply, that is what we expect. However we have now to get into it. And clearly it is about making a administration crew the place not everyone seems to be alike. And it is about zero tolerance on ethically challenged habits. Whenever you personal a sports activities crew in a metropolis, everybody watches what we do. It is the previous adage that my mother and pa used to say, which is like, “Behave like all the pieces you do goes to be on the entrance web page of the Washington Publish.”
Johnson mentioned: “We wish to take all of the complications out of gamers and coaches. We wish them to give attention to being nice soccer gamers and profitable video games and the coach (Ron Rivera) simply teaching video games. We wish to make it simple for them. And that is what we’ll do.
Harris didn’t rule out the potential of altering the crew’s title sooner or later, however mentioned the problem was not among the many new house owners’ fast priorities. He declined to characterize his view of the present crew title.
“It isn’t about how I really feel,” Harris mentioned. “It is about how the town feels about all of it. And as I mentioned, our priorities are: We have now to organize for a soccer season. We have to enhance the expertise for current followers. Then we have now to deal with the group and get out. We’ll go over all the pieces and see the place we stand. However these are our three priorities proper now.
Earlier at the moment, the brand new house owners met the numerous franchise legends in attendance, together with Inexperienced, Manley and Gary Clark. They handed out polo shirts that learn “Washington Legends Soccer” on the chest, “Washington Endlessly” on the sleeve, and “Commanders” nowhere.
Gibbs mentioned the reunion impressed him, including that the crew has “a Washington group” that understands the franchise’s historical past and tradition. However when requested what was wanted to really unite the fan base, Gibbs’ reply was easy, one he is aware of effectively from private expertise: Win.
Commanders Followers Rejoice the Day the ‘Nightmare’ Ended
“This group actually cares about this metropolis, this group,” Gibbs mentioned, “and I believe they’ll come after it. They know it is all going to be about profitable.
Later, on the fan rally, Harris led the brand new group of householders on stage, and the gang of some thousand roared. Harris clapped fingers to these within the entrance row.
“I am unable to let you know how a lot it means you are still with us,” he mentioned. Harris recounted the classics — how he grew up at Chevy Chase, cheered on the crew, liked RFK Stadium — and he let the gang admire what had been and dream of what may very well be.
“The Washington Redskins — not the Dallas Cowboys — had been the No. 1 franchise,” Harris mentioned. “We have now to return to these days. It might take some time. However, like, look who we have now on stage.
Harris waved to his companions standing behind him – Rales, Blitzer, Ein and Johnson. After Harris was completed, the gang known as out for Johnson, who gave a fiery speech about returning the win to the town. Then he obtained somewhat extra severe.
“You’re a sign of change that’s about to occur proper right here on this group, and we admire that,” Johnson mentioned. “And you will additionally see me locally doing a very good job, okay?”
Then Johnson requested followers to hitch him. Thursday, they’d chanted time and again: “F— Dan Snyder! Now was the time to look to the long run.
“Thanks, Josh! shouted the gang. “Thanks, Josh! Thanks Josh! Thanks Josh!”