The Washington Football Team has hired Jason Wright as team president, making him the first Black president in NFL history. At 38, the former running back becomes the NFL’s youngest team president and will be “responsible for leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing,” according to a statement from the team.
From 2004 to 2011, Wright was in the backfield for four teams: the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.
“If I could custom design a leader for this important time in our history, it would be Jason,” said Washington team owner Daniel Synder. “His experience as a former player, coupled with his business acumen, gives him a perspective that is unrivaled in the league.”
Wright does have years of experience in the field and also on the business side. Following his career in the NFL, he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and spent the last seven years at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the NPR reports.
“It’s a huge moment to bring those two worlds together,” Wright told ESPN.
“What other job would they come together at such a unique time for an organization at the point our team is? I’m just happy I landed in this role at that time. There are other reasons it’s historic, but that’s a byproduct of me being the right and qualified candidate at this time. All of that is just icing on the cake.”
Wright, who is now the fourth former player to become a team president, takes over from Bruce Allen who held the position for 10 years.
“I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle,” Wright said.
His appointment comes on the back of some changes taken by the team “in light of events in the country and feedback from our community.”
“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 of his appointment.
Last month, the team announced it will get a new name after concerns over its racist name which curtailed the kind of support it received from advertisers. The team also hired Ron Rivera as head coach, making him the first Latino to hold the position with the team.
“Jason has a proven track record in helping businesses transform culturally, operationally and financially,” Snyder said. “He is a proactive and assertive advocate for inclusion of all people and will set new standards for our organization, and for the league.”