Washington hired former player Jason Wright and the NFL now has its first black team president. The Washington Football Team is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation, as evidenced by the fact we have to call them the Washington Football Team after they finally dropped the ‘Redskins’ moniker.
It’s a big moment for the NFL, as most offseason news has been pandemic-related. First, the league and its TV partners grappled with the games with no fans. Then there was a series of big names opting-out including one player doing so to stay on the COVID frontlines.
Make no mistake, Wright understands the historical implications of his hiring and that some may overlook his resume as a result. But he brings a decorated business career to the role, and obviously a tremendous understanding of football, having played in the NFL for seven years with four different teams. He came into the league as an undrafted free agent after finishing a college career at Northwestern as one of the program’s all-time leading rushers.
After finishing his football career in 2010, he went into the business world. He was a partner at the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company and co-piloted the firm’s anti-racism and inclusion strategy and also worked in environmental matters. He will be tasked with running the business side of the Washington Football Team, while coach Ron Rivera handles the football operations.
But for someone in a business role for a football team, you can’t ask for a more perfect resume than Wright’s.
“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.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 17, 2020
Of course, Wright has a Herculean task in front of him. The Washington Football Team is still dealing with the fallout over their name change, the legal hurdles to announce the franchise’s new name (The Washington Football Team is temporary), a sexual harassment scandal brought to light by former employees, and a search for a location for their new stadium.
Highly significant, historic development. https://t.co/2AElfWqv7A
— Jason Reid (@JReidESPN) August 17, 2020
It’s a great moment for the NFL, and an important one for The Washington Football Team, but for Wright, he’s just a guy with an impressive background who is stepping into a new job, trying to make a difference.