The Redskins' lawsuit against the Washington City Paper's November cover story on Dan Snyder centers around what the team believes to be libel, cruel language to damage one's character, a depiction of Snyder as a devil and "anti-Semitic" language the paper has used in the past, according to several reports.
The lawsuit deals with a front-page article by Dave McKenna titled "The Cranky Redskins Fan Guide To Dan Snyder," which detailed many of Snyder's failings as an owner. While many have focused on the idea of the Redskins suing a paper because of excessive criticism, the Redskins' suit claims specific damages that only tangentially relate to the tone of the article.
SB Nation's Redskins blog Hogs Haven spoke to senior vice president Tony Wylie, who said the lawsuit deals with two specific passages in the article. One refers to a claim that Snyder forged names as a telemarketer, a claim they believe is false. Forging names is a federal offense, and the Redskins object to Snyder's depiction as a criminal. The other is when the article attacked Snyder's wife, a breast cancer survivor, for promoting health and breast cancer awareness.
In addition, the Redskins object to the headline photo of the article, which is a picture of Snyder with devil horns, according to ESPN 980's Chris Russell. Finally, they will be including objections about anti-Semitic comments the paper has used in the past, according to Russell.
In a radio appearance on "The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes," Wylie said it was time for the team to take action.
"There are a lot of things in the article that we're not happy with. For example, anytime you call someone a criminal, you have to defend yourself. Calling him a criminal is definitely wrong, and we gave them a chance to respond and let them know we weren't happy. At some point, when people cross the line, you have to defend yourself, so they forced us to take legal action."