Black women have been taking the sports business world by storm recently.
On July 11, Walmart heir Rob Walton announced that former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would be joining the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group as a part-owner of the Denver Broncos. Back in June, the organization purchased the famous NFL team for a whopping $4.65 billion. Now, Rice will reap profitable rewards from the huge acquisition.
Walton gushed about the big news in a statement, calling the Stanford University director “a highly respected public servant” and an “accomplished academic and corporate leader.”
The businessman continued, “Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better. She is the daughter of a football coach and served on the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee. She moved to Denver with her family when she was 12 years old and went on to attend the University of Denver for both college and graduate school. Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization,” he added.
From 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush’s administration.
Surprisingly, Rice is no stranger to the sports world. The politician was one of 13 members elected to sit on the College Football Playoff Committee in 2013. The CFP committee is responsible for selecting the top four teams in the playoff and assigning them to semifinal games, as well as ranking the other top 25 teams. The GOP member sat on the board from 2013 up into the 2016 football season.
Mellody Hobson becomes part-owner of the Denver Broncos
Rice’s historic win came shortly after Ariel Investments CEO Mellody Hobson became a part-owner of the Denver Broncos. In June, The 53-year-old businesswoman was recognized as the first Black woman to be publically identified as part of an original ownership group purchasing an NFL team.
It’s still unclear as to how much Hobson’s stake is in the historic sale purchase, but according to The Athletic, officials in the NFL believe that the Starbucks chair will have a large role in the operation of the franchise in the future.
Hobson, a Chicago native, graduated from Princeton with a degree in international relations and public policy. The financial expert began working with Ariel Investments fresh out of college in 1991, and the rest was history. Hobson manages nearly $17.8 billion in assets under the investment firm. She owns a large stake in the company too, according to Busines Insider. In 2000, she became president of the company.
Since then, Hobson has sat on the board of notable companies such as JP Morgan Chase, DreamWorks Animation, and Groupon, among others.
Hobson is married to film director George Lucas and the power couple shares a young daughter.
Sandra Douglas Morgan becomes the first Black woman in NFL history to serve as team president
Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Raiders welcomed Sandra Douglass Morgan, who became the first Black woman to serve as team president in the NFL’s 100-year history. Morgan is currently an attorney for Covington and Burling LLP and serves on the board of directors for Allegiant Travel Company and Caesars Entertainment.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to join the Raiders at one of the most defining times in the team’s history. This team’s arrival in Las Vegas has created a new energy and opportunities we never dreamed possible. I look forward to taking this team’s integrity, spirit, and commitment to excellence on the field into every facet of this organization,” Morgan said in a press release.
Before joining the NFL administration, Morgan served as Nevada’s first Black city attorney for North Las Vegas and she was the first Black woman chair to sit on the Nevada Gaming Control Board. She served as a litigation attorney for an international gaming and hospitality company.
Rice, Hobson, and Morgan’s historic appointments come at a challenging time for the NFL, as the organization strives to bring more diversity and inclusion to the league’s committee and hiring practices.
In May, the league announced the launch of its diversity advisory committee that will now help to review league and club policies to ensure diversity across all sectors of the organization. The initiative aims to enhance equitable opportunities for minority coaching candidates and team players.
“The six-member committee will lend its expert, external perspective on industry best practices and will evaluate league and club diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and initiatives, including all hiring processes, policies, and procedures,” a press release from the NFL read.
Under the new program, NFL teams will be required to hire at least one minority coach as an offensive assistant. According to the release, diversity and equity-related changes will slowly be implemented over the next year.