The Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Redskins, announced on Monday that it has hired Jason Wright as its president, making NFL history with the former running back becoming the league’s first black president.
The 38-year-old worked at DC-based management consulting firm McKinsey & Company after he spent seven years (between 2004 and 2011) in the backfield for four teams and graduated from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with high honors.
He played for the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals, where he served as the team captain and their labor-union representative during labor negotiations in 2010-2011.
We are happy to announce that we have appointed Jason Wright as Team President. pic.twitter.com/nIoUvoKON9
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 17, 2020
Wright, who will be replacing Bruce Allen, released a press statement, saying:
“This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me. 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. 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.”
As part of his position, Wright will be leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing.
Wright also becomes the NFL’s youngest team president and the fourth former NFL player to hold that post.
You’re going to make me pull a hamstring, making me think I can still play Coach. 😂 No longer have that juice! https://t.co/tCpqEutCBV
— Jason Wright (@whoisjwright) August 17, 2020
The team’s owner Dan Snyder also issued a press release on the decision:
“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. 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.”
In July, DC’s NFL franchise dropped its controversial name “Washington Redskins,” and adopted “Washington Football Team” temporarily until it agrees on a new name. The move followed pressure from the public, politicians and NFL sponsors, including FedEx, Nike, PepsiCo and Bank of America, for the team to change its name that was considered offensive towards Native Americans.
The name “Redskins” had been publicly criticized for years, however, it caught even more attention after the nationwide racial justice protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis.
“We’ll never change the name,” Snyder was quoted as saying by the media regarding the problem in 2013. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”