Raiders hire 1st Black woman team president in NFL history

The Las Vegas native has spent more than 40 years in the valley, attending preschool and graduating from El Dorado High School.
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 8:39 AM MDT
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) – The Las Vegas Raiders made history Thursday afternoon, hiring Sandra Douglass Morgan as team president -- the first Black woman to assume that role in NFL history.

“We talked to a number of -- a number of qualified candidates, but one person kept coming to the top of the list, and I’m proud to introduce to you today the president of the Las Vegas Raiders, Sandra Douglass Morgan,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said.

According to KVVU, breaking barriers is nothing new to Morgan, who most recently became the first person of color to serve as chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. She was also the first Black city attorney in the state of Nevada.

“It is not lost on me that this is a critical and defining moment in the NFL,” Morgan said. “It’s important to me and it is my intention to make a meaningful contribution well beyond the Raiders family.”

University of Nevada, Las Vegas sports management professor Nancy Lough said Morgan will serve as an inspiration to other women.

“She will be a very forward-facing and public-facing figure, and what that does is really open up the opportunity for other women to see themselves not just working for an organization like the Raiders or even [the Vegas Golden Knights], but seeing themselves as leading an organization,” Lough said.

Morgan is also just the third woman to be named president of an NFL team. The leadership roles for women are often an anomaly in many other sports, too.

Lough pointed out that just 12% of NCAA Division I athletic directors are women, yet roughly 45% of student-athletes are female.

“To have a sport that is all male athletes, but yet have a woman in decision-making roles really is opening up people’s perspective with regard to the business of sport,” Lough said. “The key to diversity is we will bring unique and different perspectives. Those unique and different perspectives are actually what leads to innovation and being that forward-thinking organization that’s really going to change things for the league, for the city and for all that look to them.”

As team president, Morgan will oversee all finances and budgets for the Silver and Black organization, as well as run the day-to-day operations with each department within Raiders HQ.

“I will be meeting with each of our partners and our sponsors to see what we can do to continue to enhance those relationships,” explained Morgan. “This is a success. I mean, I am really walking into an organization that has international brand recognition and has been respected in sports and outside of sports, so it’s not like I’m coming in with a difficult position.”

Morgan is now the third team president within the last 12 months. In July of 2021, Marc Badain -- who had been with the organization for three decades -- abruptly submitted his resignation. Soon after, Dan Ventrelle was interim president, but was fired this past May with the team giving no reason publicly.

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