Earlier today, the Washington Football Club announced Terry Bateman has this fancy new job with the team. The problem with that is Dan Snyder promised a new culture in Washington, and put a guy in charge who is part of the old culture. Now, I will be fair, I haven't seen anything that says he directly participated in the old culture. But like...come on, let's not play stupid here. But still, assuming we give him the full benefit of the doubt and he's spotless, well, there's always this article from 2019 about the firing of Brian Lafemina:
WaPo - Roughly 40 Washington Redskins business employees have left the team since owner Daniel Snyder fired Brian Lafemina, the former president of business operations and chief operating officer, this past December. The exodus is roughly one quarter of the organization’s non-football workers.
Upon his hiring, Lafemina was granted total control of the team’s business operations, a responsibility previously held by team president Bruce Allen, who was left in charge of the team’s football decisions. Lafemina set out to overhaul the Redskins’ ticket operation, including acknowledging a season ticket waiting list the team once claimed numbered 200,000 no longer existed; instituting single-game ticket sales; offering discounts for government employees, scouts and service members; and pledging to “treat [fans] the way they ought to be treated.”
But when early-season financial returns showed a sharp downturn in attendance and revenue, Snyder and Allen blamed Lafemina’s fan-friendly approach rather than any shortcoming in the team’s performance or with FedEx Field itself, according to a person with knowledge of their thinking. In particular, Snyder and Allen second-guessed Lafemina’s disclosure that there was no waiting list, his decision to discount tickets and the perceived implication, in vowing to treat fans well, that the Redskins hadn’t always done so.
To refresh your memory, Lafemina was the original guy brought in to change the Skins culture. He wanted to be fan friendly, he didn't want to lie to the fans about some fake season ticket holder waitlist (200,000 was the number Snyder was claiming, lolllll), and he wanted to actually change the way the team was perceived. He was quickly fired and then 40+ business side employees quit. Incredible, right? Well it gets better...or worse, depending on how you look at it:
A key moment was a hastily called staff meeting on the day Lafemina was fired, led by Terry Bateman, a team executive who is now chief marketing officer. The workers described the announcement as stunning, and employees were shocked team officials seemed to have no plan for replacing Lafemina. “If Brian’s dismissal broke the camel’s back, that meeting somehow made it worse,” one former employee later said in describing the frustration of many of the workers.
“You could literally feel the negative energy in the building that day,” one ex-employee said. “Everyone felt so crushed and devastated. The feeling was: ‘We literally can’t stay here.’”
Insane. Simply insane. After Lafemina was fired, Bateman called a meeting and somehow took morale even LOWER. That seems impossible, but yet, he did it. And that's the same Terry Bateman Daniel Snyder promoted today to change the culture. Did your brain just explode? Don't blame it.
I don't know Terry Bateman. But I do know anyone who has worked for Dan Snyder for 20 years, who was the Chief Marketing Officer when the marketing was at its all time worse, and who somehow made morale worse within the organization cannot be trusted. That I know 100%. Anyone who Daniel Snyder calls a friend is no friend of ours. He's another yes-man who clings onto Dan. Because if you don't, much like Brian Lafemina, you get fired.
But just remember the culture…it's actually damn good!