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NEW YORK — Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay is among the first to speak publicly about a growing controversy regarding Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

Snyder has been accused of sexual misconduct and financial impropriety as owner of the team. He’s also been accused in a report on ESPN, citing anonymous sources, of hiring private investigators to get “dirt” and expose fellow owners along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Irsay said this week that there is “merit to remove” Snyder as owner of the Commanders.

“Unfortunately, I believe that’s the road we probably need to go down and we just need to finish the investigation. But it’s gravely concerning to me the things that have occurred there over the last 20 years.”

In order to remove Snyder as owner of the Commanders, a vote would need to be held with at least 24 of the league’s 32 owners voting to oust Snyder.

“I just think once owners talk among each other they will arrive at the right decision,” Irsay added.

The Commander released a statement in response to Irsay’s comments.

“It is highly inappropriate, but not surprising, that Mr. Irsay opted to make statements publicly based on falsehoods in the media,” the statement said. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Irsay decided to go public with his statement today, while an investigation is in process, and the team has had no opportunity to formally respond to allegations.

Snyder has denied the accusations against him, calling them “patently false.”

A recent ESPN investigation detailed the matter. ESPN said Snyder was making plans against fellow owners, using private investigators to acquire “dirt” from their past.

He said he neither hired any private investigators nor never instructed any lawyers to do the same.

A vote to remove Snyder as owner could come as soon as the winter meetings, said Irsay, who also said owners must receive a thorough and detailed status report.

The Mary Jo White investigations into Washington’s years of accused workplace misconduct and financial improprieties under Snyder are at the root of the issue. White, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman, is investigating the matter on behalf of the NFL.