- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 1, 2022

OXON HILL, Md. —  Washington Commanders co-owner Tanya Snyder called the recent shooting of running back Brian Robinson Jr. a “senseless attack in broad daylight” during remarks at the team’s annual Welcome Home Luncheon. 

Tanya Snyder made the comments in place of her husband Dan Snyder, the team’s owner who traditionally speaks at the event but was absent from Thursday’s luncheon.

“We were blessed to see him back in our facility just days after the incident, a testament to his courage, his resilience and what he means to his teammates,” Tanya Snyder said of Robinson. “We all pray for your full recovery, Brian, both physically and mentally.”

Tanya Snyder’s comments came on the same day the team placed Robinson on the non-football injury list Thursday, meaning the rookie will miss at least four games after he was shot twice in an armed robbery attempt. 

Coach Ron Rivera said the transaction will allow Robinson to focus on his recovery. The team decided to put Robinson on the list after talking with its medical staff, Rivera said. 

“Knowing who he is and knowing the type of young man he is and wanting to be back as quick as he would like to,” Rivera said, “I think the doctors probably thought that might be a good decision.”

Robinson was shot over the weekend when two teenage boys approached him with the intent to rob him on the 1000 block of H Street NE in the District, police said. During the confrontation, a scuffle broke out and Robinson wrestled away a firearm from one of his attackers. But the second assailant then shot Robinson twice, leading to wounds in his leg and hip, police said. The attackers then fled the scene and are still at large. 

Robinson was released from the hospital earlier this week and visited the team’s facility on Tuesday to meet with doctors, coaches and teammates. Rivera has said the running back was “very fortunate” to be OK after the shooting, expressing optimism that Robinson will be able to play again this season. 

Drafted in the third round, Robinson appeared poised for a big role this coming season as he had emerged as the team’s lead back over Antonio Gibson. With Robinson sidelined until at least October, Washington will begin the season with three backs on the roster: Gibson, J.D. McKissic and Jonathan Williams. 

Dan and Tanya Snyder were among a handful of team officials to visit Robinson in hospital on the night of the shooting.

Tanya Snyder spoke for four minutes during Thursday’s luncheon, addressing the team’s rebrand to the Washington Commanders in addition to Robinson’s absence. She said she was focused on the “micro.”

“There’s a micro and a macro, and I love all the details of everything,” she said.

“Over the last two years, we have evolved as a franchise,” Tanya Snyder said. “But we will never forget who have taken the field in the Burgundy and Gold. Our legends, many of whom are here today, built this franchise, our championships and our countless memories for our fans as the Washington Redskins. 

“And that history, our history will forever be a part of who we are. Today, we are proud to be the Washington Commanders. … It is a name that shows strength, character and integrity. It is a name that, I believe, will soon bring a championship back to Washington.” 

Tanya Snyder ended her speech with a “Hail to the Commanders!”

Washington named Tanya Snyder its co-CEO and co-owner in July 2021, just before the NFL fined the franchise $10 million after an investigation into the team’s workplace misconduct in which at least 40 women said they witnessed or experienced sexual harassment while working for the club. 

Dan Snyder was last seen publicly at a team event on Feb. 2 when the team rebranded to the Commanders. The next day, former cheerleader Tiffani Johnston told members of Congress that Snyder inappropriately touched her leg underneath a dinner table and later tried to coax her into his limo during a work event in 2005 or 2006 — allegations that prompted the NFL to launch a new probe. Snyder has denied the claims. 

Last month, Dan Snyder appeared remotely by audio in front of a Maryland gaming board for a hearing that would grant the team a sports betting license at FedEx Field. Snyder was sworn in and spoke for less than 90 seconds, weeks after he testified for nearly 11 hours in a deposition with the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the congressional panel investigating the embattled owner and the team’s workplace misconduct.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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