Mystics get ground-breaking new owner

May 25, 2005 at 9:06 AM

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- Former television executive Sheila Johnson has become the first African-American woman to own a piece of a franchise in the WNBA.

Johnson, whose former husband, Bob Johnson, owns the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, Tuesday became part owner of the Washington Mystics. Sheila Johnson co-founded Black Entertainment Television with Bob Johnson and is a partner of Washington-base Lincoln Holdings LLC.

"I am extremely proud to make this announcement," former Mystics owner Abe Pollin told a Tuesday news conference. "I have known Sheila Johnson for 20 years and I have been absolutely impressed with her enthusiasm and business acumen. She will be a tremendous owner, and most importantly she is the ideal person to continue to guide this team that Irene and I founded."

Johnson becomes president, managing partner and governor for the Mystics.

She is believed to be the first African-American woman to be an owner/partner in three professional sports franchises, including the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.

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