NFL needs more minority owners, but franchise values make that difficult

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The NFL has seen the ranks of ownership expand from a tradition of rich, aging, white men in recent years. But as more females become involved in ownership and control of NFL teams, from Martha Firestone Ford of the Lions to Dee Haslam of the Browns to Amy Adams Strunk of the Titans to Kim Pegula of the Bills to Gayle Benson of the Saints (Virginia McCaskey is listed as the Secretary of the Bears; her son, George is the Chairman), the league still doesn’t have a principal owner who is African-American.

The clumsy, ineffective manner in which the owners have handled the anthem controversy suggests that it would be helpful to have the perspective of an owner who represents a community whose members genuinely believe that they face constant threats to life and liberty via interactions with law enforcement officials. But the NFL still has no African-American controlling owner, and the NFL likely won’t have one any time soon.

Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that Vikings COO Kevin Warren should be positioned by the league to purchase the next available franchise. In a lengthy article explaining the potential benefits of having an African-American owner, Souhan mentioned that, while writing a 2017 profile of Warren, his wife and others close to him said that Warren aspires to own an NFL team.

But unless being a team COO pays a lot better than believed — and unless Warren otherwise has amassed or inherited a major fortune through other business endeavors — Warren surely doesn’t have the money to serve as the controlling owner of an NFL franchise. By rule, Warren would need to come up with 30 percent of the purchase price in cash, and he’d otherwise need to have enough money to comfortably make payroll and cover all other operating expenses. If the value of an NFL team now stands at $2.275 billion (as paid by Panthers owner David Tepper) and if the value of a team will skyrocket in an environment of legalized gambling (as predicted by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban), Warren would need to have at least $682.5 million in liquid cash to get in the door, and that’s just to cover the 30-percent ownership minimum.

This doesn’t mean Warren couldn’t be part of an ownership group, with a much smaller piece of equity and a much larger voice. However, fewer and fewer people, regardless of race, will be able to afford NFL teams in the coming years. And with not many African-American billionaires (as of March 2018, Forbes listed only Robert Smith, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Jordan in that category), it could be a long time until the NFL has the African-American controlling owner that many think it needs.

31 responses to “NFL needs more minority owners, but franchise values make that difficult

  1. Diversity isn’t a must in NFL ownership. Or, do you think we should have affirmative action ownership? Have some black guy with a $20 bill get to own…because what’s important in life is skin color 🙄

  2. It’s like anything else you want to purchase. You either have the money or you don’t. It’s not that complicated.

  3. If were putting quotas in shouldn’t we have equal representation on the field? Asian, Indian, Mexican and more caucasians as well? The sport is dominated by 1 race right……

  4. This race thing is getting so out of control it’s causing more of a division than bringing the country together. As long as everything is “grouped” we will forever have those “groups” and not just US citizens. And btw, Kim Pegula is two minorities.

  5. Maybe they should put their money where their mouth is and sit out?

    If you aren’t willing to give it anything except lip service, then you probably should just shut up and play.

  6. Ya, and I think more Koreans should be play QB in the NFL. Why are there any “little people” in the NBA? Who cares as long as the product they’re selling is good?

  7. He didn’t say lower the standards. But let’s be real here, if Oprah and random white billionaire bid the same amount, the old boys network is likely going to pick the other person.

    “White patriots” love to use the “it’s a private enterprise” logic which is fine, but remember these people take tax payer money by the boatload. It’s not nearly as private as you think.

  8. Isn’t the national ratio something like 7:1 white to black people? Everything can’t be even. The math doesn’t add up. It’s a mostly white country. Sorry.

  9. ShouldBuffaloStay says:
    May 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    This race thing is getting so out of control it’s causing more of a division than bringing the country together. As long as everything is “grouped” we will forever have those “groups” and not just US citizens. And btw, Kim Pegula is two minorities.
    ___________________
    The goal of this type of identity-politics is to divide people so you can control them. It’s one reason why Kanye was attacked so viciously for talking about hearing all sides outside of the Left’s thought-prison.

  10. Not sure where the discrimination is here. Any time a team comes up for sale (not often) it goes to whoever is willing to pay the most. I am not aware of a single case where the seller would have been unwilling to take the highest bid if it had come from a minority. To those guys its about money and highest bid is highest bid.

  11. sllib12 says:
    May 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    We NEED this why?

    ——-

    Because Liberals have the misguided idea that diversity just for its own sake is a valuable idea. In other words, it makes them feel good.

  12. This is atrocious…we should have a minority owner because the NFL needs an owner that can have a perspective that supports a false narrative of Police brutality ? Telling in the article that the chosen words were ….”it would be helpful to have the perspective of an owner who represents a community whose members genuinely believe that they face constant threats to life and liberty via interactions with law enforcement officials.” What happens when the African American owner says it’s nonsense and a media driven agenda and the stats say and tell a very different story?

  13. America’s greatest disgrace that there are few not only black billionaires but any other kinds of billionaire outside of old white men. But dummies will swear it’s just because those guys worked harder, lol. It only makes your country worse off on every level when a few people play gatekeeper and make sure that only a few people get in the club based on little outside of that they fit the demographic.

  14. There are plenty of rich African Americans
    that could afford an NFL franchise if they wanted one.

    The fact that one hasn’t just means that to this point none have wanted to.

  15. The first thing the NFL and NBA need to do is to practice diversity.

    Start by firing half of your black players to return the rosters to something close to overall population percentages.

    Until you are willing to really practice diversity, there is no need to change anything else.

  16. Not sure why having minority owners is a need. Maybe a want or wish, but certainly not a need. Guessing there will always be 32 people who want to own a team.

  17. Yes, of course, because all whites, blacks, Hispanics, men, women, and whomever else gets lumped into a category all believe the same thing. After fighting for years to get the notion that your skin tone or physical makeup dictates your mental capabilities dispelled, we are intent on resurrecting the idea for “good” reasons.

    Perhaps Ben Carson should be the next owner? Was that whom you were thinking of?

  18. And also why are you ignoring Kim Pegula and Shahid Khan (neither of whom were even born in U.S., which would seem to be relevant to this discussion)?

  19. The value of NFL franchises is so damn high that the pool of eligible owners is pretty narrow – and the NFL doesn’t like the multiple owner composition needed for those that are just very, not ultra, rich.

  20. I really despise efforts to turn this into a race issue.

    The only discrimination going on here is based on money, and whether or not the person attempting to purchase an NFL franchise has enough. Black, white, red, yellow, brown, the race doesn’t matter, just as long as the money is green. Oprah winfrey could do it, and there’s no way in hades her bid would get rejected.

  21. Race card being played again. It doesn’t come down to skin color at all. 98 % of the population cannot afford to buy an NFL team. That is capitalism and what are country works on. As soon as the people understand the concept of the “haves and have nots”, the better they will be able to adjust and have a good life.

    Am I against minority ownership? HELL NO! But either you got the scratch or you don’t its that simple. Maybe some players should think about the future save and invest so they can buy a team or part of it like Jordan did.

  22. ak185 says:

    May 28, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    And also why are you ignoring Kim Pegula and Shahid Khan (neither of whom were even born in U.S., which would seem to be relevant to this discussion)?
    —————–
    Not black = Not a minority in today’s world. lol

  23. WHY do we need more diversity in NFL ownership?

    what possible difference does it make as to which extremely wealthy individual owns a football team?

  24. The Vikings actually almost had a minority owner. The original sale from Red McCombs in 2005 was to Reggie Fowler, an African-American. Unfortunately, the due diligence determined that he didn’t have enough wealth to be the majority owner. Zygi Wilf, who was one of the minority investors, stepped up at that point to be the majority owner and Fowler took a smaller part of the team. He isn’t part of the ownership group anymore.

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