The Las Vegas Raiders hired Sandra Douglass Morgan, the previous chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, because the team’s latest president on Thursday. She is the primary Black woman to carry the position for an N.F.L. franchise.
Morgan fills a job that was vacated twice prior to now 12 months amid front office upheaval and allegations of monetary mismanagement and workplace dysfunction throughout the Raiders organization. She joins the Raiders nine months after the departure of Coach Jon Gruden, who resigned in October 2021 after The Latest York Times detailed emails through which he made misogynistic and homophobic comments before starting his second stint with the team.
Morgan sits on the boards for Caesars Entertainment and Allegiant Travel, the parent company of the airline that has the naming rights to the Raiders’ stadium, and last 12 months was named the vice chair of Las Vegas’ host committee for Super Bowl LVIII, which is scheduled for February 2024.
“I’m thrilled that Sandra has agreed to affix the Raiders family,” Mark Davis, the team’s owner, said in an announcement. “Her experience, integrity and fervour for this community will probably be invaluable to our organization.”
For the reason that Raiders moved to Las Vegas from Oakland, Calif., in 2020, six of the team’s eight top executives quit or were fired with little explanation. Marc Badain resigned as team president in July 2021, and his interim alternative, Dan Ventrelle, was fired in May. Ventrelle later accused Davis, whose family has run the team for greater than 50 years, of making a hostile work environment.
Morgan said she was “honored and humbled” when Davis approached her in regards to the position, but that she also had quite a lot of questions for him.
“It’s no secret this organization has faced some recent challenges,” she said during a transient news conference at Allegiant Stadium on Thursday. “But I would like to be clear: I’m not here to brush anything under the rug or avoid problems or concerns that should be addressed.”
Morgan didn’t share specific details about how she planned to handle the accusations of workplace issues brought by former team employees, including financial irregularities and the mistreatment of some employees. In 2021, Nicole Adams, who worked within the team’s human resources department for nearly five years, filed a grievance against the Raiders with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, accusing the team of discriminating against her because she is Black and retaliating against her after she raised concerns about pay disparities and unequal treatment.
Morgan said that her top priority was to fulfill with every team worker, “ensuring that our Raider family is robust.” She added that Davis had made quite a lot of changes “intentionally” over the past six months.
Under the direction of Al Davis, Mark’s father, the Raiders franchise broke a variety of demographic barriers in football. Tom Flores, the primary Latino head coach to win a Super Bowl, won two titles with the team within the 1980 and 1983 seasons. In 1989, the team hired Art Shell, the primary Black head coach in the fashionable N.F.L., and in 1997 Davis named Amy Trask the team’s chief executive, the primary woman in league history to carry the title. Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the primary openly gay N.F.L. player on an lively roster in 2021.
Trask, who had worked for the Raiders for nearly 30 years when she resigned in 2013, noted that Morgan’s hiring carries meaning as “one other first by a company with so a lot of these firsts.” Trask also emphasized the importance of the role Morgan will tackle because of this of the team’s recent upheaval.
“It’s a very important decision for any variety of reasons, including but not limited to stabilizing that position, stabilizing that organization,” Trask said. “The president of the organization is in a leadership role, and that matters. Once you talk in regards to the innumerable points of instability, it’s the job of a frontrunner to move the organization in the proper direction.”
While she didn’t come up through the N.F.L. ranks, Morgan pointed to her experience with large businesses and dealing within the sports, entertainment and gaming industries, including a stint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. She was raised within the Las Vegas area where she served as city attorney and, more recently, as a part of the state’s Covid-19 task force.