First & Goal

These movers and shakers are scoring touchdowns in the NFL

the St. Louis Rams, is a seasoned football veteran, both in her work experience and love for the game. She’s also the only black female CFO with an NFL team.

“It’s pretty much a man’s world in this industry and it’s very challenging,” says Barr-Bracy. “You have to be very strong because if you’re not there’s no respect.” Barr-Bracy says she’s aware of only four other women in comparable positions with other teams in the league. But as far as she knows, she’s the only African American female.

Barr-Bracy, a certified public accountant, is in charge of implementing and maintaining the multimillion-dollar budget of the entire Rams’ organization. In late 1995, after spending four years as director of finance for the Dolphins and Pro Player Stadium, she left the year-round warmth of
Miami for St. Louis.

A referral from a colleague was how Barr-Bracy landed her job with the Dolphins. She says she goes through the same process of getting a referral when she’s looking to hire someone. Because of that, she thinks black women will always come up short in the NFL.

“I don’t think African American women will fare as well as African American men because of the trend in hiring someone you know,” she says. “In the NFL, black or white, most of those positions are taken by men.”

One of Barr-Bracy’s colleagues in St. Louis is Kevin Warren, vice president of player programs/football legal counsel for the St. Louis Rams. Warren, it seems, has been preparing his whole life for the position he’s currently serving. After building a successful sports and entertainment business, Kevin Warren & Associates, Inc., he hurdled from being a sports agent to the management ranks of an NFL team in 1997.

“I started as a sports agent and sports attorney trying to give my client the best possible advice and make them as successful as they could be,” says the 34-year-old Warren. “I basically do the same thing here.”

In addition to handling legal issues for the team, Warren organizes seminars and programs for the athletes to help them adjust to life in the NFL. Those seminars aren’t only reserved for the young, as seasoned veterans and coaches often benefit from the financial and personal growth seminars that Warren helps prepare.

“I have the same goal as I did as a sports agent-to educate our players to the highest level,” Warren says. “I truly believe the more educated pro athletes become, the more productive they will be on and off the field.”

So while Warren, Green, Barr-Bracy and others make an impact on their clubs, will their success help usher in a new wave of African Americans in the NFL front office?

“The rate of minority participation in the NFL front office has been frustrating,” says Matthews. “But I think things will get better-it’s just going to go very slowly. Most of these positions are filled by word-of-mouth. You just don’t see positions for the NFL advertised in trade journals or the Wall Street Journal. It’s who you know, not what you

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
ACROSS THE WEB