Team Mired in Controversy Has an NFL First

Washington Football Team makes Jason Wright the league's first Black team president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2020 8:30 AM CDT
NFL Has Its First Black Team President
In this 2009 photo, Arizona Cardinals' Tyler Palko, right, hands the ball off to Jason Wright during practice. Wright just became the first Black president of an NFL team.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It's another notable move on race from the team now known, at least temporarily, as the Washington Football Team. Owner Dan Snyder has made former player Jason Wright the league's first Black team president, reports ABC News. "I think first and foremost it's obviously very personal for me," said Wright, who at 38 is also the league's youngest president. He played running running back for Atlanta, Cleveland, and Arizona, before venturing into business after football. The news comes on the heels of the team's decision to ditch the name "Redskins" and after the franchise launched an investigation into allegations of widespread sexual harassment within the organization.

Meanwhile, internal pressure is apparently mounting on Snyder to sell the team. The 55-year-old owns a majority stake, but the Wall Street Journal reported last week that the team's minority partners want him to sell. The story notes that FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Black Diamond Capital chairman Robert Rothman, and NVR Inc. board chairman Dwight Schar own 40% of the team, and they have hired a firm to sell their stake—which would be worth more if Snyder sold as well. However, he says he has no intention of doing so. Another sign of friction: In a court filing last week, Snyder alleged that a former employee accepted money as part of a campaign to spread damaging information about him and ruin his reputation, per the New York Times. (More Washington Football Team stories.)

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