Sandra Douglass Morgan made history on Thursday as the first Black woman to assume the role of president of an NFL team.
The Raiders announced Morgan as the team’s new president via an internal letter sent from Morgan to the rest of the organization. She replaces interim president Dan Ventrelle, who after resigning claimed he was fired in retaliation for reporting a hostile workplace environment to the NFL.
“I am thrilled to join you as we embark on one of the most exciting times in the history of our organization,” Morgan said in the letter. “I look forward to meeting each of you in person over the coming weeks.
“Let me be clear — I am not here to avoid or sidestep problems or concerns that need to be addressed,” Morgan said. “I’ve given long and thoughtful consideration to joining you, and I’ve done so because I believe in the promise of the Raiders. Most importantly, I believe in your core values of integrity, community, and commitment to excellence. I will expect you to embody those and to hold me accountable to doing the same.”
Morgan’s name may be unfamiliar in NFL and football circles, but she is well-known in Nevada and Las Vegas, where she formerly served as the chairwoman Nevada Gaming Control Board from 2019 through 2021 — a role in which she also broke the gender and color barriers.
Here’s everything you need to know about Morgan as she takes over as president of the Raiders:
Who is Sandra Douglass Morgan?
Morgan is a Las Vegas native with a wealth of experience traversing the gaming industry in Nevada and the Raiders’ new home city, making her an obvious candidate for the Raiders’ open president position.
Per the Journal-Review, Morgan earned a bachelor of arts in political science from University of Nevada, Reno, before earning a juris doctor from UNLV’s Boyd Law School. She served in the following capacities prior to taking over as the Raiders’ team president:
- Litigation attorney, MGM Resorts International
- City attorney, North Las Vegas (2013-16)
- Director of external affairs, AT&T Services Inc. (2016-19)
- Chairwoman, Nevada Gaming Control Board (2019-21)
The Journal-Review reports Morgan also served on the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada State Athletic Commission prior to her role as chairwoman of the state’s control board.
During her time as chairwoman of Nevada’s gaming control board, Morgan instituted cashless wagering regulations and prohibitive policies against discrimination and harassment among gaming licensees. She was also in charge of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, closing and reopening casinos when it was safe to return.
Morgan also has ties to the NFL through her various roles, including vice chair of the Las Vegas Super Bowl host committee and board of directors of Allegiant Travel Co., both positions to which she was appointed in 2021. Allegiant Travel Co. is the parent company of Allegiant Air, which holds naming rights for the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium.
She is also married to Don Morgan, a receiver who played for the Vikings from 1999-2001 and the Cardinals in 2002. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Morgan may be making history as the first Black woman to serve as an NFL team president, but the Raiders have a notable history of breaking the gender and color barriers in regard to their team.
The team — then headquartered in Los Angeles — made Art Shell the first Black coach in the NFL’s modern era in 1989; they re-hired him in 2006 as well. The Raiders made Amy Trask the first woman to assume the role of NFL CEO in 1997, a position she held until her resignation in 2013.
Morgan will take over at a time in which the Raiders have lost multiple presidents and front-office executives in a short amount of time, including Ventrelle and his predecessor Marc Badain, both of whom resigned. The team also weathered the resignation of Jon Gruden amid the release of emails in which he used sexist, homophobic and transphobic language.