Washington hires Jason Wright, making him the NFL’s first Black team president

The Washington Football Team on Monday named former NFL player Jason Wright to be its new president, making him the the league’s first Black team president. The announcement comes after the team removed its Redskins name and branding and reports of sexual harassment accusations by former employees this summer. 

Wright spent seven years as a running back in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. After retiring from the league, he went on to get his M.B.A. and worked at global consulting firm McKinsey & Company. He said in a statement that the post is an “ideal opportunity for me.” 

“The transformation of the Washington Football Team is happening across all aspects of the organization – from football to operations to branding to culture – and will make us a truly modern and aspirational franchise,” Wright said. “We want to set new standards for the NFL.”

Wright will be responsible for leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales and marketing. Team owner Dan Snyder said Wright has a “proven track record in helping businesses transform culturally, operationally and financially.” 

“If I could custom design a leader for this important time in our history, it would be Jason. His experience as a former player, coupled with his business acumen, gives him a perspective that is unrivaled in the league,” Snyder said in a statement. “We will not rest until we are a championship caliber team, on and off the field.”

The team’s coach Ron Rivera also praised Wright, saying it’s “no surprise to me that he went on to achieve the caliber of success that Jason has in his time in the business world.” 

At McKinsey & Company, Wright was quickly named partner in the operations practice based in Washington, D.C.  Wright also led the Black Economic Institute at McKinsey, where he developed its anti-racism and inclusion strategy.

Now, Wright inherits an organization that is ripe for change. Last month the team, after pressure from sponsors, got rid of its Redskin name and is looking for a new one. The organization also hired a law firm to conduct an independent review after 15 women told the Washington Post they were sexually harassed while working for the club. Earlier this month, the team cut running back Derrius Guice after the 23-year-old was arrested on domestic violence charges earlier in the day.

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