Jason Wright

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Jason Wright
refer to caption
Wright in 2021
Washington Commanders
Position:President
Personal information
Born: (1982-07-12) July 12, 1982 (age 39)
Upland, California
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Diamond Bar
College:Northwestern (2000–2003)
Undrafted:2004
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As an executive:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:80
Carries:168
Rushing yards:633
Rushing touchdowns:2
Receptions:72
Receiving yards:581
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jason Gomillion Wright (born July 12, 1982) is an American businessman who is the president of the Washington Commanders of the National Football League (NFL). A native of the Greater Los Angeles area, he attended Northwestern University and played running back for their football team. He went on to play seven years in the NFL as a backup running back, originally signing with the San Francisco 49ers in 2004 as an undrafted free agent before having stints with the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, and Arizona Cardinals. With Arizona, he served as a team captain and was their NFLPA representative during the 2011 NFL lockout before retiring that same year.

Following his playing career, he enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree in operations and finance in 2013. He then worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised companies on organizational culture and workplace diversity. He left McKinsey in 2020 to become president of the NFL's Washington Commanders, making him the first black person in league history to have that title.

Early life and college[edit]

Jason Gomillion Wright was born to Sam and Susan Wright in Upland, California on July 12, 1982.[1][2] He attended Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, California, where he lettered in football and track.[3] He then enrolled at Northwestern University in 2000 and played for the Northwestern Wildcats football team, originally as a wide receiver before switching to running back.[4] He was named co-MVP of the 2003 Motor City Bowl after rushing for 237 yards on 21 carries, and was also named to the 2003 All-Big Ten Conference football team.[5][6] He finished his college career with 32 touchdowns on 487 carries and 577 yards and two touchdowns on 54 receptions. He also returned 31 kickoffs for 828 yards and a touchdown. He left as the school's fourth all-time leading rusher with 2,625 yards, the third all-time all-purpose yards leader with 4,030 yards, and the fourth all-time leading scorer with 210 points.

Wright graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology while also taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).[7] He was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and was president of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, being named the inaugural recipient of the Bobby Bowden Award by the latter in 2003.[8][9][10]

NFL playing career[edit]

Wright was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2004.[11] He was released as a part of the team's roster cuts to get down to 53 for the regular season and subsequently signed with the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons shortly after.[11] He was elevated to the active roster in December 2004 and appeared in two games.[11] He was waived by the Falcons in the 2005 offseason and signed with the Cleveland Browns.[11]

Wright was a reserve running back for the Browns behind Reuben Droughns and Jamal Lewis.[12] He recorded his first career touchdown in a game against the Tennessee Titans in 2005. He played for them over the next three seasons until signing a two-year, US$2 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent in 2009.[13] He served as a team captain and was their NFLPA representative during the 2011 NFL lockout before retiring later that year.[14][15] He finished his playing career with 168 rushes for 633 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 72 receptions for 581 yards and 3 touchdowns.[16]

Business career[edit]

Following his playing career, Wright enrolled at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in operations and finance in 2013.[17][18] Later that year he became a consultant for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company where he advised companies on organizational culture and workplace diversity.[19] He has also served on the board of trustees for the Union Theological Seminary in New York since 2017.[20]

Washington Football Team / Commanders[edit]

Wright in 2022

In August 2020, Wright was hired by the Washington Football Team as their team president to lead their business operations, financing, and marketing strategies.[19] The move made him the first black president of an NFL team in history, as well as the youngest active one at the time of his hiring.[21][18] Additionally, he is only the fourth former player to be president of an NFL team.[19] Wright helped lead the franchise during their rebranding process to become the Commanders in 2022.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

A relative on his mother's side, Charles Gomillion, was a Tuskegee University professor who was a plaintiff in Gomillion v. Lightfoot, a landmark 1960 US Supreme Court case regarding voting rights that later became instrumental in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[24][25] Wright was given the middle name of Gomillion in honor of him.[24] His paternal grandfather, Harvey Wright, was also an educator and civil rights activist who started several NAACP chapters in Texas.[24] Wright's sister, Allison, is a public defender in Massachusetts.[24]

Wright was the recipient of the "Best Hire of 2020" award by the Sports Business Journal for his work with the Washington Football Team.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "18 Jason Wright". nusports.cstv.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Phillips, Michael. "Jason Wright's journey to being an NFL team president is inspiring. Can he succeed where others have failed in Washington?". Richmond.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  3. ^ "Jason Wright – Football bio". nusports.cstv.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  4. ^ Belson, Ken. "Washington Hires Former Player as N.F.L.'s First Black Team President". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Wildcats Edged By Bowling Green In Motor City Bowl, 28-24". nusports.com. December 26, 2003. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  6. ^ "Harris throws 3 second-half TDs". ESPN. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  7. ^ Schmitt, Jeff. "Chicago Booth MBA Makes History In NFL Hire". Peots & Quants. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Ackerman, Jon. "Washington's Jason Wright follows Christ as he becomes NFL's first Black team president". SportsSpectrum.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "Alpha Phi Alpha's Jason Wright Just Became the First Black President of an NFL Team". WatchTheYard.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Rudolph Wins Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Bobby Bowden Award". okstate.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Belson, Ken. "Washington Hires Former Player as N.F.L.'s First Black Team President". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  12. ^ Sherman, Rodger. "Former Northwestern Running Back Jason Wright Retires from NFL's Arizona Cardinals". InsideNU.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Cardinals Agree to Terms With Wright Archived October 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine SI.com, March 16, 2009
  14. ^ La Canfora, Jason (August 19, 2020). "Washington hires Jason Wright: 'Truly special,' 'an extraordinary person' and more from those in the know". CBS Sports. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Somers, Kent. "Former Arizona Cardinals running back Jason Wright retires". azcentral.com. Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  16. ^ "Jason Wright Stats". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Sotiropoulos, Alexander. "From field to Booth, former Arizona Cardinal takes on next challenge". The Chicago Maroon. Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Washington Football Team Appoints Jason Wright as President". WashingtonFootball.com. August 17, 2020. Archived from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c Keim, John (August 17, 2020). "Washington hires Jason Wright as NFL's first Black president". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  20. ^ Ackerman, Jon. "Washington's Jason Wright follows Christ as he becomes NFL's first Black team president". SportsSpectrum.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Carpenter, Les. "Washington hires Jason Wright, making him the first Black president of an NFL team". Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  22. ^ Wright, Jason (January 4, 2022). "Presidents Brief: Why Wolves won't work (and a date to save)". Washington Commanders. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  23. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki (January 4, 2022). "Washington Football Team to reveal name, identity on Feb. 2". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  24. ^ a b c d DePrisco, Mike. "Black History Month: For Jason Wright, activism runs deep". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  25. ^ Carpenter, Les. "Jason Wright has helped save big corporations. Next up: The Washington Football Team". Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  26. ^ Homler, Ryan. "Washington team president Jason Wright named 'Best Hire of 2020'". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved December 15, 2020.

External links[edit]