Raiders introduce Sandra Douglass Morgan as new team president — WATCH LIVE

Former Nevada Gaming Control Board chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan was named the Raiders’ new president Thursday, making her the first Black woman to assume such a role in the NFL.

Morgan’s hiring was announced to Raiders employees via a letter obtained by the Review-Journal.

“I am thrilled to join you as we embark on one of the most exciting times in the history of our organization,” Morgan said in the letter. “I look forward to meeting each of you in person over the coming weeks.”

Morgan, who was the first African American to serve as Control Board chair from 2019-2021, will begin her new role immediately. Morgan is the third woman and third African American to be president of an NFL team.

The president role has been vacant since early May when then interim president Dan Ventrelle was fired by the team. Ventrelle claims the move was made in retaliation for him alerting the NFL to a hostile work environment within the organization.

“Let me be clear – I am not here to avoid or sidestep problems or concerns that need to be addressed,” Morgan said. “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.”

Morgan said she officially met Raiders owner Mark Davis about 10 months ago, after brief encounters before that in her previous roles in the community. After the role for team president opened up, the two chatted about what that would entail.

“He told me his vision for the organization and how that would blend well with my leadership philosophy and management style,” Morgan told the Review-Journal. “I’m just extremely excited to be a Las Vegan and to see what the team has done for the community in the last three to four years is just incredible. To have the opportunity to lead it to the next chapter of the Raiders is a dream come true for me.”

The Raiders are no stranger to breaking color and gender barriers in the NFL. The team hired Art Shell as the first Black head coach of the modern NFL era and made Amy Trask the first female CEO in league history. Former head coach Tom Flores also was the first Hispanic head coach to win a Super Bowl.

Tumultuous time for Raiders

Morgan takes over the team at a time when there has been significant turnover in the front office. Two presidents and multiple longtime executives have all left the organization in less than a year.

Related: How a ‘boys club’ Raiders culture fueled turnover, lawsuits and harassment claims

There have also been reports of a hostile work environment occurring within the Raiders organization, with some women alleging a troubling pattern of harassment, forced demotions and unequal treatment.

Last year, former HR employee Nicole Adams filed a complaint against the Raiders with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Adams, who is Black, accused the team in the complaint of discriminating against her because of her race and retaliating against her after she reported concerns about pay disparity and unequal treatment.

“I think it’s a wonderful step that MD (Mark Davis) is taking towards trying to improve the team’s image, but hiring the first ever Black female president doesn’t necessarily mean that things will change,” Adams said in a text message Thursday. “I just hope that the new president is the person who is truly going to improve the culture of the team, and not just a figurehead put in place to take the heat off of them.”

Morgan acknowledged the reports and said it is something she intends to address.

“Organizational challenges are no secret. I definitely have had the experience with dealing with challenges in the past,” Morgan said. “I’m coming into this role with a new perspective and a new leadership style. Definitely focused on forging a new path forward and leading this team to the next level. I’m prepared to craft a new path that can also honor the Raiders legacy and continue to make impactful changes in our community that we can all be proud of as well.”

In her nearly two years at the helm of the Control Board, Morgan ushered in cashless wagering regulations and ensured that all gaming licensees adopted policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.

Morgan has a long history in Nevada outside of her role with the Control Board.

Last year Morgan was named vice chair of the Las Vegas Super Bowl host committee and was appointed to the board of directors of Allegiant Travel Co., parent company of Allegiant Air, the naming rights partner of the Raiders home Allegiant Stadium.

“The Raiders organization brought almost $2.3 billion in economic impact from visitors, just for events at Allegiant Stadium,” Morgan said. “The estimate for the economic impact for the Super Bowl in 2024 is definitely in the billions, so there’s so much more to do. My service for the host committee has given me insight to the amazing things that are going to come in the next couple of years. I’m excited to be at the helm of that growth.”

Morgan served as director of external affairs for AT&T Services Inc. from 2016 to 2019, overseeing the company’s local government, legislative and community affairs work in Nevada.

Prior to that Morgan spent eight years with the city of North Las Vegas, including serving as city attorney from 2013 to 2016. Before that she also served as litigation attorney for MGM Mirage, presently known as MGM Resorts International.

Prior to chairing the Control Board, Morgan served on the Nevada Gaming Commission and the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“The Raiders could not have selected a better person to put at the helm,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who also sits on the board of directors for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Sandra Douglass Morgan is a proven business leader, passionate community advocate, and experienced regulator. I look forward to working with her in this new role and continuing our partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium, to solidify our reputation as the greatest arena on earth. “

breaking barriers

Her new role with the Raiders won’t be the first time she has broken barriers in a distinguished career that began after she earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of Nevada, Reno and a juris doctor from Boyd Law School at UNLV. Morgan was the first African-American city attorney in the state of Nevada when she filled that position in North Las Vegas.

She was then the first African American and second female chair of the Control Board.

Upon accepting that appointment, one of her stated missions was ensuring traditionally underrepresented groups had a presence in all levels of the gaming sector.

Part of her oversight responsibilities included sports betting at a pivotal time when the state was still dealing with the integration of major league franchises and the expansion of legalized betting into new markets across the country.

That long history and the challenges that came with it will carry over to her new role. From helping deal with the recession while with North Las Vegas, to having to shut down and then reopen resorts during the height of the pandemic, Morgan has plenty of experience to draw from.

“I’ve been able to take from unfortunate situations,” Morgan said. “Being able to rise through and find good solutions that help the greater good… I definitely learned a lot about management, leadership, and working with others. I’m a very collaborative leader and I think that I will be able to bring those skills to the Raiders organization.”

Morgan has deep roots in Las Vegas. She moved to the city when she was 2 years old and her father retired at Nellis Air Force Base. Her mother worked in the gaming industry when she was growing up.

Morgan’s husband Don, played in the NFL between 1999-2002, with stints with the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals. That history adds an extra bit of excitement within their household to her new role.

“The Raiders have a long legacy of greatness, because of each of you and because of visionaries like Mark’s (Davis) father, Al,” Morgan wrote. “Let’s carry that spirit forward together into this new season for Raider Nation and the Las Vegas community.”

“It’s an exciting time as a native Las Vegan and obviously incredibly excited” Morgan said. “My husband is an NFL veteran, so he’s ecstatic as well. I just can’t wait to start and get in there.”

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Raiders hired the first Hispanic head coach in the NFL.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. follow @mickakers on Twitter. Staff writers Adam Hill and Briana Erickson contributed to this report.

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