“We talked to a number of qualified candidates, but one person kept coming to the top of the list,” said Mark Davis Thursday from Allegiant Stadium.
Davis was speaking of new team president Sandra Douglass Morgan.
Douglass Morgan makes headlines for being the first black female team president in NFL history. But make no mistake, she is highly qualified for the position. Hence the reason, as Mark Davis said, her name seemed to stay at the top of the list throughout the process.
What you hope for in such a person is first and foremost their credentials. What makes them qualified to hold this position.
Her resume is pretty extensive, actually.
“I have served on the Nevada state athletic commission and most recently I was chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board,” said Douglass Morgan.
“I’ve been an attorney for 20 years, but I have led and managed very large teams managing, you know, budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars. I’ve had the honor of serving on boards of public companies that have market capitalization of over billions of dollars. So I think my business acumen will definitely benefit the Raiders.”
Her ties to the gaming world would have raised some eyebrows just a few years ago, the NFL has softened on their previously firm stance against gaming since allowing the Raiders to come to town.
You simply can’t hold the gambling industry at an arm’s length once you allow a team to call the gambling capital of the world its home.
After that, there are things that would be considered bonuses. Things like ties to the area — which Mark Davis said was not a criteria, but a “positive” or familiarity with the NFL in particular — both of which she has.
“I’ve lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years,” she continued. “My father is a Air Force veteran and retired at Nellis. I attended preschool here and did all of my schooling here and graduated from El Dorado High School.”
“I think my community contacts here will assist a lot of our stakeholders and partners I’ve had to deal with maybe in a different role as a regulator, but just as important here with the Raiders.”
As for the NFL, she has a close relationship to it. She’s literally married to former NFL player — Don Morgan, former Nevada safety who played four seasons in the NFL for the Vikings and Cardinals.
“Football has long been in my family,” Douglass Morgan added. “My husband is an NFL veteran. He was a strong safety for two teams I won’t mention because we’re all a part of the Raider Nation today.”
So, yeah, this is an historic hire. But I’m reminded of each time Amy Trask has been asked about her thoughts on being the first ever female Executive in NFL history, including the time I asked her. She always says something to the effect of that she just wants people to be hired based on their qualifications, regardless of race, gender, or otherwise.
It would appear that was the case here.