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Raiders hire first NFL Black female president; Broncos add Rice to ownership group

by PRIDE Newsdesk
(l-r) Sandra Douglass Morgan and Condoleezza Rice

The Las Vegas Raiders hired Sandra Douglass Morgan as their new team president Thursday, making her the first Black woman in NFL history to assume the role.

“I am thrilled that Sandra has agreed to join the Raiders family,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “Her experience, integrity, and passion for this community will be invaluable to our organization. From the moment I met Sandra, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. We are extremely lucky to have her at the helm.”

Morgan’s hire comes two months after the interim president, Dan Ventrelle, left the organization after less than a year in the job. Ventrelle said he was fired in retaliation for bringing concerns from multiple employees to the NFL about a “hostile work environment.”

Davis declined to comment on Ventrelle’s allegations at the time. The NFL is looking into the allegations.

Ventrelle took over as team president in July 2021 after Marc Badain resigned. Badain had been in the role since 2015, filling the shoes of longtime Raiders president, Amy Trask, who had resigned in 2013.

“When Mark and I first discussed this opportunity, I was honored and humbled, but I also had a lot of questions,” Morgan said during her introductory presser Thursday. “It’s no secret that this organization has faced some recent challenges. But I want to be clear: I’m not here to sweep anything under the rug or avoid problems or concerns that need to be addressed.

“The fact is I accepted this role because I believe in the promise of the Raiders. I believe in the future of the Raiders, and I believe in this organization’s tenets of integrity, community and, most of all, commitment to excellence. I believe in the Davis family’s legacy of celebrating and promoting diversity in every sense of that word. I believe in this community that we now call home that has embraced this team with open arms.”

A Las Vegas native, Morgan was most recently chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, appointed to the role in 2019. Morgan has also previously served on the Nevada Gaming Commission, as director of external affairs for AT&T, the city attorney of North Las Vegas, and a litigation attorney for MGM Mirage.

“I have been the first in other positions that I’ve held, whether it be city attorney or the Gaming Control Board. I definitely never want to be the last, and I want to get to a point obviously where there is no more first,” Morgan said Thursday. “But as I kind of mentioned in my comments, the impact that this has is not lost on me. I definitely would tip my hat to all of the prior women that were leaders and visionaries, and if I could be an inspiration or help or open doors for any other woman and girls out there, then that’s an incredible accomplishment for me.”

In other NFL news, The Denver Broncos added former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to their ownership group.

The Walton-Penner family ownership group, which entered into an agreement to purchase the Broncos for $4.65 billion in June, announced the addition.

“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group,” Rob Walton said in a statement. “A highly respected public servant accomplished academic and corporate leader, 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.”

Rice served as Secretary of State from 2005-2009 under President George W. Bush. In 2013 she was selected as one of the 13 members of the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee, where she served through the conclusion of the 2016 football season.

“It is an honor to be part of this ownership group,” Rice said in a statement Monday. “Football has been an integral part of my life since the moment it was introduced to me, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Broncos organization today. I spent much of my younger years in Denver, so to be able to combine my love of the game with my love for this great city and team is an adventure of a lifetime and a great opportunity.”

Rice, a longtime Browns fan, was even rumored to be part of Cleveland’s head coaching search in 2018, a report that she would deny. Now the former Secretary of State joins Denver in an ownership role.

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