By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As the NFL prepares to kick of the regular season, the Washington Football Team made a historic announcement Monday naming Jason Wright the league’s first ever Black team president.
The new leader joins the franchise after seven years in the league as a running back who was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent and played with the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.
Wright’s responsibilities will include leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales and marketing, the team told ABC News.
“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,” said Wright in a statement.
At 38, Wright is also currently the youngest team president in the league and the fourth former NFL player to become president of a team.
During his career in the NFL, Wright was a team captain and NFLPA player representative for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2011 NFL lockout.
He has a B.A. in psychology from Northwestern University, where he was an Academic All-American student-athlete, a two-time All-Big Ten football selection, and the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
He received his M.B.A. in Operations and Finance, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
“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,” said Washington Football Team owner, Dan Snyder. “We will not rest until we are a championship caliber team, on and off the field. Jason has a proven track record in helping businesses transform culturally, operationally and financially. He is a proactive and assertive advocate for inclusion of all people and will set new standards for our organization, and for the league. There could not be a better duo than Jason Wright and Coach Ron Rivera as we usher in a new era for Washington Football.”
The latest shakeup comes on the heels of the organization’s name change and internal investigation into allegations of sexual and verbal harassment as it looks to make a fresh start in the team’s new chapter.
The decision comes after months of turmoil for the league’s Washington, D.C. franchise under owner Dan Snyder, who has faced mounting pressure to sell the team after a series of scandals for the former “Redskins.”
Snyder, who once vowed to never change the controversial name, was the center of direct backlash amid calls for racial justice, but after sponsors like FedEx, Nike and Pepsi all added to the pressure, the organization eventually renamed the team temporarily ahead of the upcoming season until it decides on a permanent one.
The team is also the subject of an internal investigation amid sexual and verbal harassment allegations made by 15 former employees to the Washington Post.
Multiple top-level employees who stood accused of misconduct are now no longer part of the Washington Football Team organization.
The team’s owner said in a statement to the Post that the behavior described, “has no place in our franchise or society” and the team plans to institute “new policies and procedures.”
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