This year the National Football League is celebrating its 100th season, and it only took the league an entire century to hire a Black executive to lead a team.
The Washington Football Team hired Jason Wright as its new team president, making it a historic occasion—and hopefully not the last. In this role, the 38-year-old will be responsible for leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales and marketing. He will join Coach Ron Rivera, who maintains all on-field responsibilities and football decisions, in reporting directly to team owner Dan Snyder.
With his new role, Wright also becomes the youngest coach to lead an NFL team as well. He is a former partner at the global strategy and management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. His career highlights also include seven years of playing in the NFL.
“From football to business school to [my former job] McKinsey, I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle,” Wright shared in a statement. “I especially love doing this with organizations who have deep history and values that set a firm foundation. This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me.”
Wright’s leadership within the organization comes at just the “right” time. Washington has continued to be at the forefront of sports media in wake of the team’s tumultuous off-season that included a sexual harassment scandal and owner Dan Snyder finally moving away from its racist Redskins moniker last month.
“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,” continued Wright. “We want to set new standards for the NFL. As a DMV local and fan, I’ve been watching this team with interest long before I knew I could become part of it. I believe in Dan Snyder’s vision for this organization, and I am looking forward to partnering with Coach Rivera, who is a champion for the players and one of the great minds in football. Together, we will define the future of the Washington Football Team.”
Snyder praised Wright, saying in a statement in part: “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.”
While it’s a step in the right direction, we hope to see more change within the organization.