Sandra Douglass Morgan made NFL history on Thursday (July 7) after the Las Vegas Raiders hired her to serve as the team's president. She's now the first Black woman to have that position, according to CNN.
When asked what the important moment means to Morgan, she says she wants to continue breaking barriers in the league.
"I have been the first in other positions that I've held whether it be city attorney or Gaming Control board," Morgan said during a news conference at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. "I definitely never want to be the last and I want to get to the point obviously where there is no more firsts... if I could be an inspiration or help or open doors for any other women or girl out there, then that's an incredible accomplishment for me."
Besides the previous jobs mentioned, Morgan was also the first Black woman to serve as the Nevada Gaming Control Board's chairwoman. She took up the position in 2019 before accepting her new job with the NFL.
Her hiring comes months after the Raiders fired then-president Dan Ventrelle. While the team didn't explain why Ventrelle was let go, the former team president told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that termination was retaliation for complaining about Raiders owner Mark Davis. Ventrelle alleged Davis facilitated a hostile work environment and often dismissed misconduct happening in the workplace.
Morgan also shared her thoughts about these allegations with the Review-Journal:
"Let me be clear -- I am not here to avoid or sidestep problems or concerns that need to be addressed," journalists quoted her. "I've given long and thoughtful consideration to joining you, and I've done so because I believe in the promise of the Raiders. Most importantly, I believe in your core values of integrity, community, and commitment to excellence. I will expect you to embody those and to hold me accountable to doing the same."
The Las Vegas Raiders has been ahead of the game when it came to diversity hiring in the past. In 1999, they were the first team to hire a Black head coach when they brought on Art Shell. Amy Trask, who was hired as the team's chief executive in 1997, became the first woman to serve in that position.
The entire league has come under fire this year over allegations of racism and discriminatory hiring practices by Brian Flores, who was fired from his position as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Flores is currently suing the NFL and three teams for damages and to address discrimination.