I'm sure you all have followed the story this week about Daniel Snyder suing the Washington City Paper. I won't go into the details of the situation or why Snyder's allegations are bogus and his actions are reprehensible -- you can read that stuff elsewhere. Instead, I will argue why we, the members of the BulletsForever community, have an obligation to support the Washington City Paper.
Dan Snyder does not like to be criticized -- who would? But he has shown he is willing to take extreme actions to stop that criticism. During the 09-10 season, after fans started bringing signs critical of him to games, stadium officials confiscated signs as fans entered the stadium. And then in November 2010, in response to Dave McKenna scathing critique of Snyder in the Washington City Paper (http://mirror.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/40063/the-cranky-redskins-fans-guide-to-dan-snyder.html), Snyder's attorney wrote a letter to the City Paper threatening to put the Paper out of business.
Why does this matter to the BulletsForever community? Based on the flimsiness of Snyder's allegations, I believe that Snyder's real goal is to intimidate those who dare to criticize him. Not just the City Paper, but every small paper, magazine, blog, or writer tempted to criticize him. You don't think that every writer or blogger writing a negative piece about Snyder will now think -- even if only for a split second -- "Will this get me sued?" And if that happens, I bet a lot of writers will pull their punches, at least a little bit.
If Snyder owned the Wizards, Mike Prada and SB Nation would be affected and threatened, and so would this blog community. Fortunately, our Wizards are owned by Ted Leonsis, not Snyder. But we still have interests here. Any attack on the press is an attack on all of its readers. By declaring war on the City Paper, Snyder has declared war on all of us. So, we need to respond.
Everyone should respond in the way that is most meaningful to him or her. I am responding by writing this post, and contributing to the legal defense fund that the City Paper has established. You can read about it here: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/legaldefense.
By standing up to Snyder, we are standing up for a free and unintimidated press, and standing up for ourselves.