Sandra Douglass Morgan made history recently as the first Black woman to assume the role of president of an NFL team, being named to the top spot with the Las Vegas Raiders.
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 chair of the 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 Morgan?
As a Las Vegas native with a wealth of experience traversing the gaming industry in Nevada and the Raiders’ new home city, Morgan is viewed by many as an obvious choice for the president’s position.
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 with the state’s control board.
During her time with the 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 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 former president Dan Ventrelle and his predecessor Marc Badain, both of whom resigned. The team also weathered the resignation of former coach Jon Gruden amid the release of emails in which he used sexist, homophobic and transphobic language.
*Married to Don Morgan, a receiver who played for the Vikings from 1999-2001 and the Cardinals in 2002.
*Active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
*Served as vice chair of the Las Vegas Super Bowl host committee.