The former Secretary of State joins fellow Broncos co-owner Mellody Hobson as the only two Black women in NFL ownership.
After purchasing the Denver Broncos in June for a whopping $4.65 billion, the Walter-Penner family ownership group is welcoming another Black woman into its ownership family. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will join Mellody Hobson as the only two Black women to own a piece of an NFL team.
“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group,” Rob Walton said in a statement. “Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better. Her unique experience and extraordinary judgement will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”
You can read the full statement here:
Though Rice’s career is in politics, she is no stranger to the football world. She was an inaugural member of the NCAA’s College Football Playoff Selection Committee, serving from 2013-16.
ESPN reported in 2018 that the Cleveland Browns were interested in interviewing her for their then-vacant head coaching job. Former Browns General Manager John Dorsey threw cold water on this, issuing a statement saying “our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.”
Rice then posted on Facebook, “I love my Browns — and I know they will hire an experienced coach to take us to the next level… BTW — I’m not ready to coach but I would like to call a play or two next season if the Browns need ideas!”
Rice has also played a prominent role in college basketball, heading up the Independent Commission on College Basketball, aptly nicknamed the Rice Commission, after a massive FBI investigation rocked the sport in 2017. Her commission issued a report in 2018 that outlined proposed fixes to the NCAA’s structure, meant to root out cheating and corruption.
Though Rice is a longtime Browns fan, she does have connections to Denver. The former Secretary of State spent part of her childhood there and went on to receive degrees from the University of Denver.