Mellody Hobson To Make History By Becoming Part Owner of the Denver Broncos

With the recent chatter about the possibility of an NFL franchise being owned by a Black person, all of that went up in smoke when it was announced that Walmart heir Rob Walton became the owner of the Denver Broncos. But, although the majority owner isn’t Black, a Black woman is part of the ownership group creating history in the process.

The Denver Broncos announced earlier this week that Walton bought the franchise for a record-setting $4.65 billion. The purchase will be completed pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and at least three-fourths (24) of the league’s 32 owners.

In Walton’s statement about the winning bid to purchase the franchise, he made mention of a Black woman, Mellody Hobson being part of The Walton-Penner group, who would be the new owners of the Denver Broncos. This would make Hobson the first Black woman to be part of an NFL ownership group.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans.

“Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we’ve learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months.

“We are excited to announce that Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, has agreed to join our ownership group. Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation.

“Mellody currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.”

In 1984, Pat Bowlen purchased the Broncos and ceded control of the team in July 2014 to Joe Ellis, the Broncos’ team president and CEO, acknowledging that he had Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen passed away in 2019, and the Pat Bowlen Trust took over ownership of the franchise. The trust announced in February that it had initiated the process of selling the club.