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Washington's Jason Wright becomes first Black team president in NFL history

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The Washington Football Team on Monday hired Jason Wright as team president. He is the first Black team president in NFL history.

Wright, 38, also is the youngest active NFL team president. Washington fired team president Bruce Allen in December. Allen had held the role since 2009.

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"I think first and foremost it's obviously very personal for me," Wright said Monday on Good Morning America.

Washington also hired former Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera in December. Rivera is one of just four minority head coaches in the NFL.

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Wright played football at Northwestern before he spent seven seasons as an NFL player from 2004 through 2010. He then earned a master's of business administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before he became a partner for McKinsey & Company, a global strategy and management consulting firm.

"The fact that I happen to be Black and the most qualified person for this is a boost," Wright said.

Wright was a team captain and a players' union representative during his NFL tenure. He also was an Academic All-American while at Northwestern.

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He will work under team owner Daniel Snyder amid major organizational overhaul. The NFC East franchise announced July 13 it retired its controversial former nickname and Native American branding. On July 23, the franchise announced it will use the Washington Football Team name and branding for the 2020 season and until it decides on a new name.

The franchise also is in turmoil after allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse among former employees surfaced in July as part of a report in the Washington Post. Washington has since launched an investigation into those allegations.

"We had a phrase when we played that said, 'you don't talk about it, you be about it,' -- and I think what I've seen from Dan and Tonya Snyder in the hiring of coach Rivera and some of the decisions they've made," Wright said.

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"There are actual shifts in action to suggest it's a new day, and that's why I'm excited to take this on."

Wright's hire also comes after the NFL said in July it would review Washington's off-season hires of two other executives to ensure the team complied with the league's Rooney Rule, which requires NFL franchises to consider minority and/or female applications for executive positions.

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"It's a culture transformation first," Wright said. "To make sure we have an organization people want to be a part of. That itself will start to expand the value of the franchise and make the good things happen."

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Wright did not disclose the team's new nickname during his appearance on Good Morning America. He said fans and sponsors will participate in a "longer process" to make a "community decision" on the new name.

Wright will assume his new role next week.

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