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Magic Johnson has joined an ownership group led by Josh Harris to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
The NBA Hall of Famer has joined an ownership group led by Josh Harris, who owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, to purchase the Washington Commanders. Johnson and Harris were part of an ownership group that failed to land the Denver Broncos last summer.
Mellody Hobson became the first Black woman with an equity stake in a team in NFL history with said Broncos acquisition.
The NFL has attempted to increase their focus on diversity by hosting HBCU Open Houses each season with an aim to “cultivate diverse talent at every level of the League,” NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations Arthur McAfee said.
This comes at a time when the NFL is facing a discrimination lawsuit brought by former Head Coach Brian Flores and two other Black former coaches who claimed NFL hiring practices were rooted in racism.
At the time of the lawsuit, there was only one Black head coach in the NFL out of the 32 teams, despite 70% of the league’s players being Black.
A federal judge ruled earlier this month that the discrimination lawsuit could head to trial, rejecting the option of arbitration.
If Harris’ ownership group is successful in purchasing the Washington Commanders, Johnson would become one of less than a handful of minority owners in the league that are Black.
Forbes has listed the value of the NFL franchise at $5.6 billion.
Current owner Dan Snyder said last year that he was considering a sale of the team amidst investigations surrounding a “toxic workplace.”
A House Oversight Committee alleged Snyder fostered a “toxic workplace” and “conducted a shadow investigation” targeting accusers of workplace misconduct.
NFL owners are scheduled to meet next week in Phoenix as speculation about a deal being announced continues to grow.