Black Excellence: Sports Industry Adds Power Women To Their Leadership Ranks

sandra douglass morgan
Source: Facebook/NFL

Jul. 15 2022, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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The sports industry has been embracing powerful Black women as of recent, with two more joining leadership ranks in the National Football League (NFL).

Condoleezza Rice, a former U.S. secretary of state, has joined the ownership group of the Denver Broncos, finally fulfilling her dream of being part of the NFL.

In a statement to CBS Sports, Rice expressed excitement. “It is an honor to be part of this ownership group,” she said. “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.”

Another Black woman just made history in the organization.

Sandra Douglass Morgan will be the first Black woman to lead a team in the organization, after she became the president of the Las Vegas Raiders this week.

“I’m just really, really lucky to have this opportunity and hopefully open doors for many other women and women of color in leadership roles in sports,” she told ABC News.

The leaders of the sports industry have been overwhelmingly white and male for decades, with very few Black women being added to the ranks. Only six out of 32 NFL owners are women of color.

We are slowly starting to see change, as more and more diversity is being introduced to the industry’s top levels.

Here are three other Black women who have made power moves into the sports industry:

Shaina M. Wiel

Shaina M. Wiel recognized the underrepresentation in her industry and decided to do something about it.

She was employed by ESPN and the NBA, working on the executive side of the industry for many years.

She was able to see the lack of diversity firsthand.

This inspired her to start her company, Minorities in Sports (MiS), a messaging system that acts as the primary source for a diverse group of people so that they can connect, exchange resources, glean insight and gain a competitive advantage in their careers.

Since its inception in 2016, 80% of its users have secured an interview or a position in their desired field. She has many major clients, including the PGA Tour, Grabyo, the NBA, the MLB, and Octagon.

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Portia Archer

Not only was Portia Archer the first Black woman to fill the role of chief operating officer (COO) of the NBA’s G-league, but she was the first person to ever have the position.

The role was completely new when Archer took it on, giving her the perfect opportunity to prove herself.

The G-league is the NBA’s official minor league.

As a member of the board of trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation, she has cited helping women as one of the things that she is the most proud of.

“There are a number of women in the officiating ranks who have had opportunities to ascend, and to pursue their careers. That part of my role is something that I’m very proud of,” she told Sports Illustrated.

Cynthia Marshall

Cynthia Marshall is a trailblazer in her field, becoming the first Black woman to be the chief executive officer (CEO) of a NBA team.

She became the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks in 2018 and vowed to transform the culture into something they could be proud of.

Since becoming the CEO, she has made the organization more inclusive and diverse, and helped the organization work on their image amidst multiple sexual harassment scandals.

Marshall was appointed to Yahoo’s board of directors just last month, adding to her list of accomplishments.

Boards are also significantly underrepresented, with women only holding 29% of the seats, and Black women having even less.

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By: Camryn Quick

Camryn Quick is an up-and-coming journalist currently based in New York City. Coming all the way from South Carolina, where she studied Mass Communications, she is finishing up her Masters in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, where she is specializing in print and concentrating on arts and culture reporting. While in school, she has covered the arts and culture beat for the Mott Haven Herald and Hunts Point Express in the South Bronx, mainly writing pieces about the arts-oriented businesses and nonprofits in the area. She has also reported for the NY City News Service, covering 2021 election day in the South Bronx.

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