The Washington Football Team has had a roller coaster of an offseason. In July, the franchise received tremendous pressure to change its moniker from the Redskins to a less offensive name. Ad partners started dropping like flies, and even major clothing stores stopped selling Washington merchandise. The Redskins eventually got rid of their long-standing name, but that didn’t stop fans and shareholders from pressuring team owner Dan Snyder to resign.
After the PR dumpster fire that was the last month in Washington, the franchise is trying to restore its image. On Monday, the team hired Jason Wright to be its next president, making history in the process. Wright is the first-ever Black president in the NFL.
Who is Jason Wright?
Jason Wright isn’t just the first Black team president in NFL history. He’s also the youngest team president in the league today at 38 years old.
Wright grew up playing football and even had a successful NFL career of his own. He played running back at Northwestern for four years, recording over 2,600 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns in his collegiate career.
Wright went on to play seven seasons in the NFL. He started his professional career with the Atlanta Falcons, but he also played for the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals. Wright compiled a total of 1,214 yards from scrimmage during his career, and he scored five total touchdowns in the league.
After his football career ended, Wright went into the business world. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and went on to serve as a consulting partner for McKinsey & Company.
Now, he finds his way back to the NFL.
Jason Wright becomes the first Black team president in NFL history
The Black community has been fighting for equality since this country was founded. The movement led to the Washington Football Team abandoning its old name, and now it’s finally led to the first Black team president in league history.
Wright appeared on Good Morning America Monday to share his thoughts on the achievement.
I think first and foremost it’s obviously very personal for me. [I] played a decent amount of time in the league and then became a businessman and cut my teeth in some of the best business schools. I have been helping some of the most complex and important organizations around the world transform over the last few years, so for me, it’s personal and an opportunity to bring together my two worlds in a really unique way, at a unique time. The fact that I happen to be Black and the most qualified person for this is a boost.Jason Wright
The hire is a monumental development for the NFL. Since the league’s berth in 1920, people of color haven’t been able to crack into front office roles despite most of the NFL being made up of Black players. Now, they finally have thanks to Wright.
Will the Wright hire change the Washington Football Team’s battered image?
The Washington Football Team has come under fire of late, but it’s clear now management is committed to the fight for equality. Wright sees a shift in culture in Washington, and he’s ready to be apart of it.
It’s a culture transformation first to make sure that we have an organization that people want to be a part of and that itself will start to expand the value of the franchise and make the good things happen. 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.Jason Wright
Dan Snyder still has a ways to go to resurrect his broken image, but the recent hire shows his intent to change the culture in Washington and the league as a whole.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference