WASHINGTON- magical johnson joined Josh Harris’ bid to buy the NFL washington Commanders, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because details of the offer are not being made public.
A basketball Hall of Famer turned high-profile executive, Johnson is already involved in sports ownership with interests in Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. He was also part of Harris’ failed 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.
The Commanders are expected to sell for more, which would be the highest price ever paid for a professional sports franchise in North America. Forbes estimates the team’s value at $5.6 billion.
Harris, along with partner David Blitzer, owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Washington-area billionaire Mitchell Rales is also reportedly part of Harris’ group.
Amid multiple investigations into workplace conduct and possible financial improprieties, longtime owner Dan Snyder and wife Tanya started exploring selling part or all of the team in the fall. Any sale would have to be approved by three-quarters of NFL owners, which could happen at their next meeting in Arizona.
Snyder’s ownership has been a hot topic for years, ever since multiple employees reported workplace harassment, prompting a league investigation and a $10 million fine. When no written report of the Beth Wilkinson investigation was produced, the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform initiated its own review of the situation, which included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission.
The league has hired former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White to investigate, and that investigation is ongoing. At a league meeting in October, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there was “merit in removing” Snyder – who then hired Bank of America Securities two weeks later.