As we all know, Black NFL players make up 70% of the league players, but there are no black NFL owners. The NFL has had only one minority owner in the 101 year history of the league. Shadh Kahn, a Pakistani American who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars is the only one.
With that being said, history could change before the end of the year. The Denver Broncos are up for sale and a lot of Billionaires are interested. Being an NFL owner is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. With only 32 teams, anytime a NFL team goes on the open market it gains the attention. Most NFL teams are family owned businesses and are owned by the same family that started the organization.
A very rare opportunity, there is a chance that Robert F. Smith becomes the first Black NFL Owner. A billionaire investor and CEO, is the wealthiest African-American in the U.S. with a net worth over 6 billion. A native of Denver, Smith has the wealth and connections to make this transaction happen. Smith gained his wealth as the owner of a private equity and venture capital firm. His company Vista Equity is the 4th largest software company in the world.
In 2019, Smith made headlines when he announced that he would pay the student loans of the entire graduating class at his alma mater, Morehouse College.
A Denver native, Smith would fit the NFL owner profile as a deep pocket, socially conscious, self-made, multi-billionaire. Not only that, he would be a nice change for the NFL who is looking to fix the image of the NFL owners. It’s sad to say, but the NFL needs to make this deal happen. Smith’s competition includes NFL Hall of Famers Payton Manning and John Elway. Both QBs will come into the bidding war with their own group of wealthy investors. Billionaire Jeff Bezos and Jay-z are other investors that have previously expressed interest in owning a NFL team.
Again, only time will tell if the NFL is ready to make the commitment to diversify in the owners box.