Alex Smith, who played for the Washington Commanders before a gruesome leg injury ended up playing a major part in his eventual decision to retire, blasted the organization and owner Dan Snyder.
Smith appeared on Monday’s episode of “ESPN Daily” and said that while he appreciated the support from the fans and his teammates through everything he experienced with Washington, he blasted Snyder over the “distractions.”
“To see what’s gone on certainly the last 10-15 years though has really tarnished that legacy of the team,” Smith said. “And as a player, when you’re there, as players, we talk often talk about eliminating distractions, right? There’s a lot of noise around NFL teams, every NFL team, right? The media, the coverage, the week-to-week, the ups, and downs. There’s just a lot of distractions out there.”
He added: “I’ve never seen a place where the distractions come from the other side of the building. For everybody out there, these are big facilities, and half the building is kinda dedicated to football. It’s weight rooms and locker rooms, and practice fields, and all that kind of stuff. The other half of it is the entire business entity of the organization. You rarely interact with each other.”
Smith pointed to the “never-ending stream of questions” being asked by the media as soon as you get there. He even suggested he empathized with the fans for not showing up because of how they’re in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the organization.
“… It’s probably the worst gameday experience in the country.”
Smith, a three-time Pro Bowler, played for Washington from 2018 to 2020. He won the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year award after he threw for 1,582 yards and six touchdowns in eight games after the leg injury that nearly cost him his life.
Last week, Snyder and the Commanders – along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league – were hit with a lawsuit from the D.C. attorney general. They were accused of purposely misleading fans when it came to the accusations around their workplace culture.