Jason Wright: I Knew Dan Snyder Was Serious About Culture Change

Dan Snyder has hired Jason Wright as Washington's team president; Wright is the first Black team president in NFL history

Tiki and Tierney
August 17, 2020 - 6:24 pm

Washington owner Dan Snyder said he wanted to change the culture of his organization. Well, he may have changed it for the entire NFL.

Snyder hired former NFL player Jason Wright as Washington’s team president Monday. Wright is the first Black team president in league history and just the fourth former player to attain that role.

“My conversations with Dan have been personal, transparent,” Wright said on Tiki & Tierney. “We’ve asked each other provocative questions. We’ve talked about past mistakes. We’ve talked about things we wish we would have done differently in the past. And that level of transparency, openness, and then the alignment of values . . . in setting a new direction give me the utmost confidence in our partnership going forward – and I think Coach [Ron] Rivera felt the same thing.”

Rivera, 58, said Snyder hired him to help change the culture of the organization. Changes are needed both on and off the field, as 15 former employees accused the franchise of sexual harassment.

“Coach Rivera could have [had] a lot of jobs. He chose this one,” said Wright, who played seven seasons in the NFL. “I think that confidence in what Dan is going to enable him to do and empower him to do – the same way he’s empowering and enabling me to do on the business side – are real.”

Snyder, who became Washington’s owner in 1999, is 142-193-1. The franchise has had eight different head coaches since 2000 and has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons.

“I think it’s on us to perform, whether that’s on the football side or the business side,” Wright said. “As long as we’re doing that, this working relationship is going to be rooted in those values and it’s going to be quite productive. Dan’s a smart guy. I’m looking forward to the thought partnership on some of the creative things we’re going to do. I’m all in.”

In the wake of the sexual assault allegations, Snyder hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation into the team’s culture in July.

“That was a really good signal for me to believe that this organization was serious about pivoting in another direction,” Wright said. “When you invite somebody in to open every closet, overturn every rug and see the good, the bad and the ugly, that is real commitment to change. I don’t know yet if the actual situation is better or worse than I think it might be – I’ll find out when I actually start next Monday – but I know where we’re going to head. We’re going to head to a culture that’s trust-based, where colleagues feel safe and able to raise their voice. It’s going to be a workplace where women are empowered to have voices in all the decisions that matter – not just because they should, but also because it helps us make better business decisions. 

“And then it’s going to be a culture where we’re accountable to one another, where we actually measure performance,” Wright continued. “We’re going to measure how we do on business production – not to hold something over people, but actually to find out where we need to improve and where we need to invest and better equip our people.”