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Washington Football Team becomes first in NFL history with Black GM, team president

With the hiring of Martin Mayhew, the Washington Football team makes history again.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Football Team is making history again. The team announced Friday the hiring of Martin Mayhew. With the hire, the organization becomes the first in NFL history with a Black GM and a Black team president, Jason Wright.

Mayhew has been an NFL executive since 2001, eight seasons as the general manager of the Detroit Lions. He played nine seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Washington team in the early '90s.

“Martin is a proven general manager who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization,” said head coach Ron Rivera in a press release Friday. “He will be an integral part of running the daily football operations and will allow me the opportunity to focus more on coaching. He impressed both myself and Mr. Snyder during the interview process and we both believe he will be a tremendous fit here. He is a man of high character and integrity and was part of the rich history and tradition of this great franchise as a member of the Super Bowl championship team in 1991.”

Mayhew spent the previous four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, most recently as the club’s vice president of player personnel. He held the position of senior personnel executive for the franchise from 2017-18. Mayhew assisted first-time general manager John Lynch and was a major contributor for a personnel department that was vital in the team’s Super Bowl appearance in 2019.

Mayhew is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in business management and also holds a law degree from Georgetown University. He interned with the Washington Football Team while attending law school in 1999.

In addition to Mayhew joining the team, the team made more history by promoting Jennifer King to a full-time offensive assistant, officially making her the first full-time Black female coach in NFL history. 

King joined the team in February 2020 as a full-time coach intern. She became the fourth woman overall in the National Football League.

“Jennifer is a bright young coach and will be a great addition to our staff,” said Rivera when she was hired.

Meanwhile, Jason Wright became the league's first Black president of an NFL team when he was hired back in August of last year. Wright is a DMV native who worked at a D.C.-based company after retiring from football. He was a former NFL running back.

The Washington Football team played in its first playoff game in five years on January 9, but lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are only the third team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record, save for the shortened 1982 season.  

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