Magic Johnson Reportedly Joins Commanders Ownership Bid
Magic Johnson has joined Josh Harris’ bid to buy the Washington Commanders from the NFL, according to reports from Sportico and The Associated Press.
Johnson, a Basketball Hall of Famer and five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers who went on to become a prominent executive, is already involved in sports ownership with stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers of the Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC and the WNBA. Los Angeles Sparks. He was also part of Harris’ unsuccessful bid to buy the Denver Broncos, which were instead sold to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for a record $4.65 billion.
Commanders are expected to sell for more, which would be the highest price paid for a North American professional sports franchise. Forbes estimates the team is worth $5.6 billion.
Harris and his partner David Blitzer own the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. Washington-area billionaire Mitchell Rales is also believed to be part of Harris’ group.
Amid multiple investigations into workplace conduct and potential financial improprieties, longtime owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya began considering selling part or all of the team in the fall. Any sale would need to be approved by three-quarters of the NFL owners, which could happen at their next meeting in Arizona.
Snyder’s ownership has been a hot issue for years, ever since several employees spoke out about workplace harassment, prompting a league investigation and a $10 million fine. When no written report on Beth Wilkinson’s investigation was produced, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform launched its own review of the situation, which included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission.
The league has hired former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White to investigate, and that investigation is ongoing. At a league meeting in October, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there was “one credit to be had” for Snyder – who then hired Bank of America Securities two weeks later.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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