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Washington makes Jason Wright first Black team president

The Washington Football Team made a historic hire, naming Jason Wright as the team's president. He is the first Black team president in NFL history.

A former NFL running back, Wright, 38, becomes the youngest team president in the league and is the fourth former player to serve in the position. His duties running Washington's business affairs include the operations, finance, sales and marketing departments.

"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," owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "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."

Wright spent seven seasons as an NFL running back with San Francisco, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Arizona -- he was the Cardinals captain and labor rep during the 2011 lockout. After retiring, he earned his MBA from The University of Chicago. He worked at McKinsey & Company, a global strategy and management consulting firm in D.C., where he was named partner in the Operations Practice.

"From football to business school to McKinsey, I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle. I especially love doing this with organizations who have deep history and values that set a firm foundation. This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me," Wright said in a statement. "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."

Wright will handle the business aspects of the Washington Football Team while Ron Rivera will maintain control over all on-field football decisions. Both report directly to Snyder.

"I remember Jason as a player, and it is no surprise to me that he went on to achieve the caliber of success that Jason has in his time in the business world," Rivera said. "From my conversations with his former teammates and coaches plus my own with Jason, I have come to see that we share many of the same core values and beliefs. Because he knows the NFL firsthand and how fast it moves, I am excited to have him on board to head up the front office and operations, so that I can focus on what's most important to the fans in our community -- winning football games."

Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman Harry Carson and executive director Rod Graves issued a statement Monday applauding the hire.

"The Fritz Pollard Alliance commends the Washington Football Team for their selection of Jason Wright as President. It is an historic event as Wright becomes the first Black team president in NFL history. The selection is the result of an inclusive process that recognizes the talents that people of color can offer. We hope that it signifies a true change for the manner in which leadership is chosen in the NFL."

Wright arrives in Washington at a time of change for the football club. The team moved on from its long-time name this year. It's also dealt with the fallout from a Washington Post report last month detailing a culture of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Wright's hire helps take business operations off Rivera's plate so that he can focus on football. Washington hopes the tandem can lead to a streamlined operation that will get the team back to being one of the premier clubs in the NFL.

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