NFL Team Presidents Kevin Warren and Jason Wright Discuss the Importance of Black Leadership during A Toast to Black Sports

With a special emphasis on celebrating diversity in sports, an intimate afternoon affair was curated by Minorities in Sports Business Network and Diverse Representation. The event was called “A Toast to Black Sports” and was held at Brezza Italian in The Resorts World Las Vegas. 

The special event included a hand-crafted Brezza Italian menu followed by cocktails and mingling. This event being held during Super Bowl week and Black History Month highlighted a pivotal moment in NFL history of appointing qualified Black teams’ presidents exposing the shift toward greater diversity and inclusivity in top leadership positions. The 2023–2024 NFL had five Black team presidents, which was an NFL first.

An exclusive guest list of influential sports executives, brands such as Coca Cola, firms, agencies, and leagues such as the NFL, came together to honor and celebrate the incredible achievements of Washington Commanders Team President Jason Wright and Chicago Bears President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Warren. These two were recognized for their extraordinary vision in the NFL community.

Founder and CEO of the Minorities in Sports Business Network Shania Wiel, was joyful about the outcome of the event. “With so many events happening during Super Bowl Week, we were proud to curate a space for fellowship, community, and relationship building. It felt like a family reunion,” she said. Prior to the event, Will discussed the importance of honoring the monumental achievements of what has been accomplished by event honorees. Wiel said, “With our Toast to Black Sports event, we aim to highlight and celebrate the top Black sports executives in the industry. Too often, Black executives are behind the scenes accomplishing phenomenal feats with barely any recognition. Our goal is to give proverbial flowers by recognizing them for their work.”

In an exclusive interview Chicago Bears team president Kevin Warren spoke with FOX Sports Radio Host/Reporter Kelsey Nicole Nelson following the event about the emergence of Black leadership in sports especially in football. “It’s just outstanding. I mean there is so much talent and it’s truly a blessing,” he said.  He continued also talking about how professionals are pulling for each other and really give opportunities to deserving individuals. Nelson followed-up asking Warren about advice he would give to young aspiring professionals. “I would just say be who you are and build a legacy, recognize that it’s not all about me,” he said. 

Nelson also had a chance to exclusively speak with Wright. “Seeing Black leadership and Black intelect make bottom line dollars and cents for the league is really encouraging and hopefully spurs more folks to be in this position in the future,” he said when asked about the importance of Black leadership. He also touched down on some of the record breaking achievements by the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Washington Commanders who have Black leadership in place. Nelson continued the conversation asking him about the Commanders minority owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. and the impact he can have for Black ownership in sports. “Earvin has done an amazing job and is already adding to the franchise. He put up real money, helped us close sponsorship deals, and helped in the coaching and GM search,” he said. 

Wright hopes he can set a great example for Black youth to not only get into these types of positions but also to excel. 

You can catch both interviews with both Warren and Wright down below.

Jasmine Pollock