The Washington Redskins’ Public Relations “Henchman”


The Washington Redskins have had a tough year. They sit in last place in the NFL’s competitive NFC East division, despite a high payroll and expectations. Fans are aggravated and have begun calling for the head of team owner Daniel Snyder.

Who does Synder turn to, to protect his image? Karl Swanson, his public-relations “henchman,” of course. Swanson is the subject of a Washington Post profile piece today. He uses both verbal and physical tactics:

When journalists have sought comment from the Redskins owner in public, the linebacker-size Swanson has often gotten in front of the media mob, shielding his boss from questions.

Swanson is Snyder’s proxy because Snyder rarely speaks for himself. The team owner says he doesn’t grant interviews during the regular season, and rarely does so at other times.

Swanson has experience as a reporter, having worked at the Associated Press. His tough love approach has lead to turnover within the organization, as the team has had “seven directors of communications during Snyder’s 11-year ownership, a rate that exceeds the turnover in the head coaching job,” reports the Post.

[image: Swanson, right, with owner Dan Snyder, left, and Vinny Cerrato, a Redskins VP]