The Washington Football Team announced a historic hire Monday morning, naming Jason Wright as its new team president. He is the NFL's first ever Black team president.
At the time of the announcement, Wright appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his new role and his plans for the team.
"I think first and foremost it's obviously very personal for me," Wright said. "[I] played a decent amount of time in the league and then became a businessman and cut my teeth in some of the best business schools. I have been helping some of the most complex and important organizations around the world transform over the last few years, so for me it's personal and an opportunity to bring together my two worlds in a really unique way, at a unique time."
"The fact that I happen to be Black and the most qualified person for this is a boost."
Wright is ready to help the organization undergo a significant transformation. Here's what you should know about the team's new president.
He Played in the NFL for Seven Seasons
The 49ers signed Wright as an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern before he went on to play for the Falcons, Browns and Cardinals. The running back even served as the Cardinals' captain and labor representative during the 2011 lockout. During his career, he tallied 1,214 rushing and receiving yards combined and five touchdowns.
Wright's Business Background is Strong
After retiring from the NFL, Wright earned his MBA from The University of Chicago. Before the Washington Football Team hired him, he worked at international consulting firm McKinsey & Company as a partner in Operations Practice.
Washington owner Dan Snyder praised Wright's business background in a team statement Monday morning.
"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," Snyder said. "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."
Wright Joins an Elite Group of Former NFL Players in His New Role
At only 38 years old, Wright is currently the youngest NFL team president and is only the fourth former player to serve in this position.
He's Ready to be Part of Washington's Cultural Transformation
During his Good Morning America interview, Wright addressed the team's current turmoil and how he plans to institute changes within the organization.
"Part of what excited me about taking this role–we had a phrase when we played that said, 'You don't talk about it, you be about it,'–and I think what I've seen from Dan and Tonya Snyder in the hiring of coach Rivera and some of the decisions they've made, to have an independent investigator come in around the sexual harassment allegations, there are actual shifts in action that suggest it's a new day, and that's why I'm excited to take this on," Wright said.
"It's a culture transformation first to make sure that we have an organization that people want to be a part of and that itself will start to expand the value of the franchise and make the good things happen."
Coach Ron Rivera Is Eager to Work With Wright
Wright will handle the team's business operations, allowing coach Ron Rivera to focus on the on-field decisions. With the two men working together, Washington will hope to reverse the futility that has characterized Dan Snyder's tenure as owner. Wright and Rivera are expected to work well together due to their shared vision for the team, as well as their longtime relationship that dates back to Wright's NFL career.
"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."