Magic Johnson joins Josh Harris's group for Commanders bid: reports

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The group led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris attempting to buy the Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder is reportedly adding a partner that knows his way around sports ownership. 

Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend who has stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA) and Los Angeles F.C. (MLS), has joined Harris’s group, according to multiple reports. 

Harris has been trying to get into NFL ownership, as he was unsuccessful in purchasing the Denver Broncos. Walmart heir Rob Walton ended up purchasing the team for a record $4.65 billion. 

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Former player, Magic Johnson looks on during the NBA match between Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons at The Accor Arena on January 19, 2023 in Paris, France.  (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Johnson was also a part of Harris’ bid for the Broncos, so he’s reportedly back in business with him. Billionaire Mitchell Rales, who is in the Washington area, is also reportedly among Harris’s group of buyers. 

The Commanders are expected to sell for more than the Broncos, as Forbes estimated its worth $5.6 billion. Current owner Dan Snyder was reportedly setting his asking price at $6 billion. 

Snyder’s ownership has been one of the most controversial issues in the sport, as he is amid multiple investigations into the Commanders’ workplace which was deemed toxic. 

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Several employees came forward about workplace harassment, which led to a league investigation. After initially being fined $10 million, a second investigation was sprung by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform after Beth Wilkinson’s investigation never had a written report. 

The U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee released a 79-page report in December that alleges the league and the Commanders covered up decades worth of sexual misconduct. The report found that Snyder had a "toxic" workplace and a "culture of fear."

The committee found that "sexual harassment, bullying and other toxic conduct pervaded" within the organization.

"Today’s report reflects the damning findings of the Committee’s yearlong investigation and shows how one of the most powerful organizations in America, the NFL, mishandled pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct at the Washington Commanders," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, legal counsel for the Commanders, pushed back with a statement to Fox News Digital at the time. 

Former NBA Player Magic Johnson attends The 7th Annual Imagine Ball at The Peppermint Club on October 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

"These Congressional investigators demonstrated, almost immediately, that they were not interested in the truth, and were only interested in chasing headlines by pursuing one side of the story. Today's report is the predictable culmination of that one-sided approach," the statement read.

"There are no new revelations here," the statement continued. "The Committee persists in criticizing Mr. Snyder for declining to voluntarily appear at the Committee's hearing last spring, notwithstanding Mr. Snyder's agreement to sit, at a date chosen by the Committee, for an unprecedented 11 hours of questioning under oath. The only two members of Congress who witnessed any part of that deposition, one Democrat and one Republican, both made public statements in the wake of the deposition characterizing Mr. Snyder's answers as truthful, cooperative and candid. As is typical of the Committee, they have refused, despite our repeated requests to release the full transcript of Mr. Snyder's deposition.

"The Committee suggests that Mr. Snyder prevented witnesses from coming forward yet does not identify a single witness who did not come forward or who suffered a single adverse consequence for having done so."

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Even with the potential sale ongoing, Snyder is reportedly irking NFL owners after demands were made. The Washington Post reported that Snyder and his attorneys "have demanded" assurances from the league and the other team owners that he will not face any legal liability down the road after selling the franchise.

Those demands from Snyder have reportedly "angered some owners and renewed discussion about the possibility of taking a vote to remove him from ownership of the Commanders." They are calling Snyder’s move "absurd," especially considering the franchise continues to face investigations.

Magic Johnson speaks during the 2023 International Poverty Forum at Delta Flight Museum on March 17, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Derek White/Getty Images)

Snyder had a private auction to feel out the bids for his franchise. Not among the bids was Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, but not because he wasn’t interested. 

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Snyder reportedly holds a grudge against Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, which published multiple exposés that added to the sexual harassment claims against Snyder and his franchise.

Any sale of the Commanders will need approval from three-quarters of the NFL owners. They are all set to be together next week in Arizona for the owners meetings.

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