Apology from paper would have prevented suit, Snyder says

A word of apology from the Washington City Paper for a critical article would have sufficed, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said Friday, via *The Washington Post*.

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When that wasn't forthcoming, Snyder on Wednesday sued the weekly newspaper and its parent company, Atalya Capital Management LP, in New York State Supreme Court for defamation and anti-Semitic references.

"We were hoping that he'd apologize, hoping they'd say sorry," Snyder, who spoke to reporters in Dallas, said in his first public comments since filing the suit, adding that he never sought reporter Dave McKenna's job. "All they had to do was apologize and retract their lies."

The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages for each of the two causes of action, plus punitive damages.

The story, entitled "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder" and published in November, included an altered photo of Snyder with horns and a beard. Snyder's lawsuit claims the weekly newspaper used "lies, half-truths, innuendo and anti-Semitic imagery to smear, malign, defame and slander" him.

The suit also claims the newspaper reported Snyder engaged in criminal conduct by "forging names."

Said Snyder: "You can't call people names, criminals. You can't make fun of someone's wife and her effort for breast cancer awareness as national spokesperson for the National Football League as a breast cancer survivor. It's just wrong."

Snyder also said that he "respect(s) the media. My father was a journalist. But don't call me a criminal. Don't lie."

He said he wants a personal apology and a correction.

Asked whether he worried about drawing more attention to the story, Snyder replied: "I don't care. What's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. Put horns on me? I'm Jewish. You crazy? You don't do that."

In a post on the Washington City Paper website Wednesday, managing editor Mike Madden said the image "is meant to resemble the type of scribbling that teenagers everywhere have been using to deface photos for years. The image of Snyder doesn't look like an 'anti-Semitic caricature' -- it looks like a devil."

Snyder addressed several other topics Friday:

» He said he didn't know all the facts about suspended Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth being accused of assault in what police said was a case of road rage. Snyder declined to comment, other than to say, "We'll see what happens."

As for what sort of business investment he considers Haynesworth, who got $41 million guaranteed in a free-agent contract, Snyder said: "I'm disappointed."

He said he is "comfortable" with the way general manager Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan dealt with Haynesworth, adding: "I'm not going to try to micromanage these guys. ... I've matured into, I think, a good, quality owner."

» Snyder wouldn't say whether quarterback Donovan McNabb will be back next season.

"It's not my decision, ultimately," Snyder said. "I'll support the decisions that (Shanahan and Allen) make. I don't think they have a clue which way they're going with anything yet. I don't think they know about Albert Haynesworth, about any situation."

» He wants a new training facility, because the one in Ashburn, Va., is too old, but he isn't sure whether it would be in Washington, Maryland or Virginia. Snyder said the team isn't actively scouting land now and the earliest a new facility would be ready is 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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