Last week (June 8), it was announced that a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton would buy the Denver Broncos, pending approval from the league. One of the group members, a businesswoman named Mellody Hobson, is set to become the first Black female NFL minority owner.
Also in the group is Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and his son-in-law Greg Penner, who will become minority owners as well.
At 53 years old, Hobson has built an impressive resume. The Princeton University grad is the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation. She previously held a position at DreamWorks Animation as a chairwoman as well.
Walton appears to be pleased with her skill set. “Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation,” he said in a press release.
He continued, “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.”
Hobson is married to film director George Lucas, who is widely known for his work with the Star Wars franchise.
In February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Broncos would be sold. After an avalanche of claims that the league had an issue hiring minorities in leadership roles, the commissioner expressed that he was looking for diverse ownership.
Following the announcement, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown stated that he was “extremely serious” about teaming up with Kanye West to purchase the team. Not many details were made public beyond that.
Others who reportedly showed interest in purchasing the team include former Denver Broncos Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning. JAY-Z along with former President and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos were also rumored to be potential buyers.
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