The Las Vegas Raiders have taken the latest step in the team’s quest for diversity with the hiring of Sandra Douglass Morgan as the franchise’s new President, making her the first Black woman to hold that position in NFL history. The news, which was announced on Thursday (July 7), continues the league’s efforts for diversity and inclusion within its respective front offices. Morgan, who previously served as chairwoman and executive director of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, noted the barrier she’d broken with her new role in a statement celebrating the news.
“I have been the first in other positions that I’ve held, whether it be city attorney or the Gaming Control Board. I definitely never want to be the last, and I want to get to a point obviously where there is no more first,” Morgan states. She continued, adding, “But as I kind of mentioned in my comments, the impact that this has is not lost on me. I definitely would tip my hat to all of the prior women that were leaders and visionaries, and if I could be an inspiration or help or open doors for any other woman and girl out there, then that’s an incredible accomplishment for me.”
Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis also issued a statement coinciding with the hire, praising Morgan for her “experience, integrity and passion” for community and the Raiders organization itself. “From the moment I met Sandra, I knew she was a force to be reckoned with,” he said in a news release. “We are extremely lucky to have her at the helm.”
The hiring of Morgan is the latest example of the Raiders franchise leading the charge for diversity in the NFL, as the organization was also the first to hire a head coach of Latin descent in Tom Flores in 1979, as well as an African-American head coach with Art Shell in 1989.