Magic Johnson Details Importance Of Commanders Ownership In Interview
“Breaking these barriers and opening these doors as a proud Black man— ” Earvin “Magic” Johnson began answering a question posed by the Today Show’s Craig Melvin before taking a moment to compose himself and wipe away his tears.
“This is a…there’s a great opportunity, I don’t know why God blessed me with these opportunities, but I want to excel not only for myself and my family but for all African Americans making sure we can see ourselves in these seats.”
Johnson is part of an ownership group taking over the NFL’s Washington Commanders that is led by Philadelphia 76ers owner and billionaire Josh Harris.
As co-owner, Johnson stressed his desire for the employees to be valued as people, as human beings, telling Melvin: “So if we respect them, they will respect us and go to the wall for us. And so — I’ve been in so many different sports teams…and we know how valuable these employees are, because they make it run every single day.
The NFL’s Washington Commanders has been sold to a group led by billionaire Josh Harris and a group that includes NBA legend @MagicJohnson. @CraigMelvin sat down for an exclusive interview with Johnson to talk about ushering in a new era for the team. pic.twitter.com/Y3NvWjU9j9
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 21, 2023
These two statements from Johnson seem to summarize as someone who despite having a lot of money has not forgotten how to genuinely care about the well-being of others. Decades after his NBA career as ended, he still wears his emotions on his sleeve.
The 63-year-old sees his responsibility clearly and knows that he is also following two Black women into the ownership space in the NFL. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ariel Investments CEO Melody Hobson are already part of the Denver Broncos ownership group.
Johnson understands he is one of the first Black male owners in the NFL and he knows that if he does his job well, that could lead to not only more Black people being put in ownership positions like him but it could trickle all the way down to the coaching ranks as well.
A stark contrast to the former ownership under Daniel Snyder, Johnson, and his group seek not only to make Washington a great place to work, but they also seem to want the players to enjoy their experiences.
The culture during Snyder’s regime was awful even before the sexual harassment and the exploitation of the team’s cheerleaders was made public a few years ago. Johnson also indicated that the team’s nickname was one of the things that the group would place “on the table” of discussion once they get a feel for everything. The public was not in favor of the name or the slur for Native Americans that preceded it.
Johnson is bringing a new era to the NFL, a new era to Washington. Both are in dire need of change.