Jason Wright’s Appointment as First Black NFL Team President Brings Excited Reactions

Jason Wright may have just created a new era in the NFL.

Wright, a former running back with various NFL teams, is now President of the Washington Football Team. He is the first Black man to hold that role with any of the NFL’s 32 franchises.

The NFL world is extremely excited by Wright’s hire and what it could mean for minorities earning those opportunities. Here are how some of the sport’s most notable figures reacted upon learning of Wright’s new job.

Jason Wright is the first Black team president in NFL history

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The NFL officially began in 1920. In 1970, the AFL and NFL officially merged to form one complete league.

Despite all of that and the various franchises that have joined the league since then, there had never been a Black team president. There have been Black general managers and Black coaches, but never a Black president.

That was, until Jason Wright arrived. A former NFL running back, the 38-year-old replaces longtime Washington executive Bruce Allen in that position.

Wright earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Previously, he earned a psychology degree from Northwestern, where he also played college football and ran for 32 touchdowns in four seasons.

Wright totaled 21 all-purpose touchdowns, all but one of the rushing variety as a senior at Northwestern in 2003. He nonetheless went undrafted in the 2004 NFL draft.

Wright played seven NFL seasons

Longtime NFL running back Jason Wright spent two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He is the Washington Football Team's new president.
Longtime NFL running back Jason Wright spent two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He is the Washington Football Team’s new president. | Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

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A 5-foot-10, 212-pound running back from Diamond Bar, Calif., Jason Wright signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2004.

Wright debuted with Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons later that year and totaled 10 rushing yards in three games. After he joined the Cleveland Browns in 2005, Wright ran for 578 yards and two touchdowns on 3.7 yards per carry in 48 games with the Browns.

In seven NFL seasons, Wright totaled 633 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The dangerous special teams contributor also caught 72 passes for 581 yards and three touchdowns.

The NFL world is pleased with Jason Wright’s hire

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The football world understandably had much to say about Jason Wright’s hire.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group dedicated to promoting minority hiring in the NFL, praised Washington for the hire. Rod Graves, the FPA’s Executive Director, called the hire a “historic event.”

“The selection is the result of an inclusive process that recognizes the talents that people of color can offer. We hope that it signifies a true change for the manner in which leadership is chosen in the NFL.”

Graves, as the Arizona Cardinals’ general manager, signed Wright in 2009.

Lake Lewis Jr., a Washington media member, took a similar stance in his praise.

“No one will ever be able to say that @WashingtonNFL isn’t leading the way in diversity hires,” Lewis wrote.

Wright’s former teammate, longtime Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas, tweeted his congratulations. Thomas included the hashtag,”#JWrightForUSAPrez.”

Grant Paulsen, a Washington radio host and columnist for The Athletic, tweeted that a source told him Wright is “the most impressive person I’ve ever been around.”

“No qualifiers. That was the quote,” Paulsen added. “High praise for Washington Football Team’s new Prez.”

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