After somewhat of a tumultuous beginning to 2020, the Washington Football Team is making moves to turn things around and bring Dan Snyder’s former ‘Redskins’ back into a positive light. When Snyder became majority owner in the Washington Redskins – the team’s name, which has received scrutiny for years, was already intact. Fast forward to 2020, following police brutality leading to the death of George Floyd and the biggest civil rights movement since the 1960’s, the team is now searching for a new name, which many feel was culturally misappropriated. They have been the Washington Redskins for 87 years, so the change will not be made rashly. The agreed upon name in the interim of a final decision is stated to be the Washington Football Team.
Another new leaf for the former Redskins, is the hire Daniel Snyder made bringing on Jason Wright as the team’s new president. Wright is the first Black team president for the National Football League, and he is ready to lead the team alongside Dan Snyder in reshaping the organization’s culture. Wright, who retired from the NFL and then pursued his MBA at the University of Chicago, “understands the business of football” said Troy Vince, NFL Vice President of Football Operations, and is the “right person for the job”. Jason Wright, on paper, is a great fit for the role. Wright played in the NFL for seven years with four different franchises, earned his MBA, and is a partner at a consulting firm. Also, during the NFL lockout in 2011, he helped with the labor negotiations with the National Football Players Association.
Snyder fully supports Jason Wright for this position stating that if he could “custom design a leader for this important time in our history, it would be Jason”. Snyder also added, “Jason has a proven track record in helping businesses transform culturally, operationally and financially”. Proving the two men are supportive of each other, in return, Wright says that Snyder is committed to doing what it takes to make the change. Snyder will support his team to become a “championship-caliber” team.
Jason Wright accepted this position, despite the challenges, after speaking with Daniel Snyder and his wife Tanya about this opportunity. He is eager to be at the forefront of molding this NFL team’s identity, at this key time when sports and our nation’s view on race are in the spotlight and leading the charge for change. Wright was the subject of a multitude of interviews immediately after his hire and was proud and confident to accept the challenges that come with his new role. Wright is confident that Dan and Tanya Snyder are proving their commitment to organizational change by removing personnel that were found to be “bad apples”.
Wright’s plan to initiate change within the franchise begins with a strategy that he refers to as a “community-based process”. Hearing from fans, sponsors, and players will help to shape the identity of the team and influence the team’s new name. Wright expects that interacting with the public in new ways will help increase the franchise’s value. According to Forbes, the franchise is currently valued at $3.4 billion. Another part of his business strategy is to build the “right scheme”. He wants to find the best talent for each aspect of every play to properly execute the plan. He also wants everyone in the Washington Football organization to feel empowered and heard. Wright explains that to change the culture, he needs to deeply understand what the culture is now and says that will happen on the individual level as he begins to meet with people in the organization one-on-one.
Wright believes that Snyder will support him and will allow him time to make a change within the organization, and that this will be a welcomed change for both Snyder and Washington. The team has a new head coach (Ron Rivera), a new team president, and is striving for a new culture. Snyder understands that this process will take time.
Furthermore, while Wright is eager to get to work, he acknowledges the fact that he is the first Black team president in the NFL- a historic milestone not to be overlooked. He hopes that this is just the beginning of expanding the diversity of leadership in the National Football League and hopes that when players and others see him in this role, that they are given a glimpse of greater possibilities for themselves.
Learn more about Daniel Snyder and Jason Wright here: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/new-washington-president-jason-wright-opens-up-about-dan-snyder-his-culture-changing-plan-and-more/