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Sandra Douglass Morgan has broken a barrier, becoming the first Black woman to be named president of an NFL team. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
Sandra Douglass Morgan has broken a barrier, becoming the first Black woman to be named president of an NFL team. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

Sandra Douglass Morgan, the first Black woman to be named president of an NFL team

The Las Vegas Raiders made the NFL’s latest historic hire on Thursday, July 7.

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Sandra Douglass Morgan was named the new team president of the Las Vegas Raiders last week.

Her selection is historic, as it marks the first time that a Black woman has been hired as president in NFL history. Overall, she is both the third woman and third Black person to be named president of an NFL team.  

During a news conference after the announcement of her hiring, Morgan noted that while she has been the first in other positions, she does not want to be the last. 

“I want to get to the point obviously where there is no more firsts … if I could be an inspiration or help or open doors for any other women or girl out there then that’s an incredible accomplishment for me,” she said

Also a litigation attorney, Morgan was the first Black city attorney in the state of Nevada from 2013 to 2016. She is also the former Nevada Gaming Control Board chair — the first Black woman to hold that role, as well.

As she has broken barriers in multiple industries already, she remains committed to doing so in others, as well. 

“The importance and effect of it is not lost on me. I know that sports is a male-dominated industry, just as gaming was, and we need to continue to break down those barriers,” Morgan added. 

Raiders owner Mark Davis praised Morgan for her experience, integrity and passion, and called it “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,” added Davis. 

Morgan replaces Raiders president Dan Ventrelle who was removed from the position in May 2022.

It was reported by the Review-Journal that Ventrelle claims he was fired for informing the league of alleged complaints about Davis creating a hostile work environment and other forms of potential misconduct — claims Davis dismissed. 

During her introductory press conference, Morgan addressed the claims surrounding the organization, stating she was not there to sweep anything under the rug or avoid any problems or concerns that needed 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,” said Morgan in her introductory press release. “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.” 

This isn’t the first time the Raiders organization has broken barriers in making a historic hire. 

In 1979, the team — then located in Oakland — named Tom Flores its head coach, the first Latino to become an NFL head coach. This came 19 seasons after Flores became the first Latino to start at quarterback in the NFL.

In 1989, the team named Art Shell the NFL’s first Black head coach (excluding Fritz Pollard, who was a player-coach during the early 1920s), and then in 1997 named Amy Trask as the league’s first woman CEO, a role she held until resigning in 2013. 

Morgan’s milestone comes less than two years after Jason Wright became the NFL’s first Black team president when he was hired by the Washington Commanders. 

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