‘It’s time for black ownership’: Stephen A. Smith urges the NFL to allow black suitors to take control of the Washington Commanders
- ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith says now is the time for a black NFL owner
- It follows Washington owner Dan Snyder’s decision to explore options of selling
- Snyder has been a controversial figure for several years within NFL circles
- There has never been a black NFL owner and only ever two non-white owners
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ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has urged the National Football League and affluent black people to capitalize on the opportunity presently available with the Washington Commanders.
Polarizing Washington owner Dan Snyder is considering selling the NFL franchise following years of controversy surrounding everything from the team name to accusations of sexual harassment.
Though, it remains unclear if he would sell the entire team or if he’s just looking to add a minority partner.
Regardless, Smith says now is the right moment for a black person to be at the head of an NFL franchise. There has never been a black owner in the history of the league.
Embattled Commanders owner Dan Snyder is considering selling his Washington franchise
‘It’s time for black ownership,’ Smith said on ESPN’s First Take Wednesday morning.
African-American woman, Melody Hobson, is a minority owner of AFC West team, the Denver Broncos.
‘I’m talking about a majority owner of a National Football League franchise that happens to be a black person. That would be nice,’ Smith continued.
‘One of the things that we have discussed and lamented throughout recent history is the lack of representation, the lack of diversity, when it comes to the ownership group.
Jay-Z (L) and Beyonce (R) were suggested by Smith as black people wealthy enough to support a purchase of an NFL franchise
The National Football League’s rosters are largely made up of African-American athletes
‘Maybe, if there were black owners, more issues would be addressed more poignantly, more transparency would exist.
‘Obviously, more coaches would be of African-American descent and beyond. And so, I look at this as an opportunity to ingratiate an African-American into the proceedings. You have a guy like Jay-Z with Beyoncé, and Lord knows how much money they’re worth.’
Smith also the alternative of a group of African-Americans unifying to make an NFL franchise a collectively black-owned team.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (L) and Commanders chief Dan Snyder (R) are two of 30 white owners in the National Football League
The New York Giants are the only team which is currently co-owned. Both John Mara and Steve Tisch have a 50% stake in Big Blue.
‘You’re talking about groups of individuals that could coalesce and really collaborate and combine their resources to ultimately own franchises throughout the National Football League,’ Smith continued.
‘Why can’t that be the case when we’re talking about African-American representation? It is far time that it has happened in the National Football League — over 65% of its players are black. Obviously, we understand that.
Stephen A. Smith used his enormous ESPN platform to express his views on black ownership
‘You’re talking about it being worth billions upon billions of dollars and they are enough black folks with deep pockets who would love to be a part of the cash cow that is the National Football League, and this is an opportunity for them to do it.’
Smith, often known as the face of ESPN, did offer a caveat that black ownership may be prevented from existing within a largely white ownership group.
The league currently has two non-white owners in Buffalo’s Kim Pegula, who is Asian-American, and Jacksonville’s Pakistani-American chief, Shahid Khan.
Shahid Khan is the current owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Premier League’s Fulham
‘What everybody needs to understand and be reminded of is, you can have all the money in the world and the National Football League, meaning the the board of governors — its ownership group — they still don’t have to let you in. They can still keep you out.
‘What we’re saying is it’s far time that they let African-Americans in. And this is a perfect opportunity to do that.
‘This is the time to make that happen if you’re the National Football League.’