By Jonathan H. Adler
And it today’s football-related legal news, The Washington Post reports that Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has dropped his defamation suit against the Washington CityPaper over an unflattering story about him.
Snyder had sought $1 million in general damages as well as unspecified punitive damages from the weekly paper; its parent company, Creative Loafing; and journalist Dave McKenna. McKenna’s story in November, “The Cranky Redskins Fans’ Guide to Dan Snyder,” was an unflattering account of Snyder’s tenure as owner of Washington’s NFL team, with an encyclopedia-style listing of alleged missteps and public-relations controversies over the years. . . .
But people close to Snyder said the team’s owner felt vindicated when City Paper’s publisher, Amy Austin, acknowledged in a story published in April that one aspect of the story was not meant to be construed as literally true. . . .
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In his original lawsuit, Snyder said he was defamed by several parts of the article, including the suggestion that he had been kicked out as chairman of the board of the Six Flags amusement park chain and had gone “all Agent Orange” by cutting down a stand of trees on federally protected land that blocked river views from his Potomac mansion in 2004. He also objected to the story’s assertion that he had been “caught forging names” on consumers’ long-distance phone contracts while he headed a marketing firm, Snyder Communications, before taking over the Redskins in 1999. He denied all of those allegations.