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How many NFL teams have black owners? F1 driver Lewis Hamilton joins exclusive list

Lewis Hamilton is the only black NFL owner
Lewis Hamilton is the only black NFL owner
Andrew Hughes

In purchasing the Broncos in June, the Walton-Penner group made Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton the first black co-owner of an NFL franchise.

“We're delighted to welcome Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Sir @LewisHamilton to our ownership group. He is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team.”Statement from Rob Walton on behalf of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group: https://t.co/kl2z04lKyk

Lewis Hamilton holds the Formula One record for most race wins and has won the Formula One World Championship a grand total of seven times - a number only Tom Brady can match in the NFL. In April, Hamilton and Serena Williams, led by former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton, attempted to buy the English Premier League's Chelsea.

Walmart heir Rob Walton and former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comprise the ownership group of Walton-Penner. With Hamilton joining the mix, he became the second co-owner of an NFL franchise.

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Of the league's 32 teams, Jacksonville Jaguars' Shad Khan and the Buffalo Bills' Kim Pegula are the only minority non-white owners.

The NFL needs more black owners than Lewis Hamilton

Adding Formula One's Lewis Hamilton was a nice start, but the rest of the league's owners are overwhelmingly white. The NFL has a long way to go to improve the ratio of black owners relative to the rest of the league.

Sports attorney Richard Roth explained the issue to Money.com (h/t Sportscasting):

“Historically, the wealth in this country belongs to white males. It’s the same reason most Fortune 500 companies, most law firms, etc. are owned by white males. I do believe you’ll see more [people of color] break that glass ceiling. It just takes a little longer because of the size of the money.”
Players Union: We have seen disproportion punishment between the players(mostly black) and owners. With proof, players have been severely subjectively punished. Please allow an unbiased process to protect the players from tyranny.NFL: yea ok, but Fuck you….#browns

Roth's point is that the league will eventually catch up. Perhaps black ownership will replace misbehavours like Dan Snyder and Stephen Ross.

The NFL has black owners, but in other sports

While the NFL itself doesn't feature a black owner, there is an ex-All Pro who is in the sports ownership business. Marshawn Lynch is part of the Seattle Kraken ownership group and couldn't even believe it when the deal went down (h/t CNBC):

"This is something I never would have imagined. I always dreamed of playing on a professional team but owning one is something special. As I look back on some of my accomplishments, I'm [going to] continue to count my blessings."

Russell Wilson is another black NFL player owning a sports franchise. He's owned Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders since 2018.

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With the ever-changing political and societal landscape, black individuals will have an increasing amount of opportunity to become owners in NFL teams.


Edited by nicolaas.ackermann12

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