Authors: R. Matthew Hedges1, David Hughes2
1School of Continuing Studies, Sports Industry Management, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA
2School of Continuing Studies, Sports Industry Management, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA
R. Matthew Hedges, MPS
295 Durham St.
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034
1R. Matthew Hedges, MPS, is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and studied Sports Industry Management. In light of the current sports franchise ownership market and the lack of diversity thereof, Hedges’ interest includes finding a pathway to a more inclusive sports ownership structure.
2David C. Hughes, Ph.D., M.Ed., is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. His specialties include esports, diversity, equity, and inclusion within sports management, and sports technology.
Restructuring NFL Ownership, A New Way Forward
Racial discrimination still exists in the NFL today. What has been referred to as a modern-day plantation, NFL franchises have insufficient diversity at the ownership level as well as in the top front office positions. NFL franchise owners have illimitable power and are averse to a 21st-century progressive society. The league is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that is owned and operated by 32 franchise owners. Although the NFL is the behemoth of the sports industry, there are ingrained systemic issues. Instead of putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, the NFL must address the diversity concerns with strategic initiatives to overcome the deficiencies. A comprehensive top-down structural reformation is required to alter the ownership level. With the introduction of private equity funds, amending the Rooney Rule to include limited partners, and modifying the relationship between NFL franchises and their respective local governments, diversity within senior executives will advance. While the 32 owners have tightly held the reins of the league, a revolution must transpire.
Key Words: NFL Ownership, Diversity in the Workplace, Social Reform, Private Equity, Rooney Rule, Equal Opportunity(more…)