Magic Johnson Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; ESPN analyst Magic Johnson before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

NBA legend Magic Johnson says his ownership role with an NFL team sends a powerful message to minorities.

Johnson became a limited owner of the Washington Commanders in July when managing partner Josh Harris and several other part owners purchased the franchise from Dan Snyder.

Although Johnson is already part-owner of three other major sports franchises, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles FC, he said the NFL is a different level. There are no majority black owners in the NFL, which is the most popular pro sport in the U.S.

“There’s no higher sports league than the NFL, and it’s been hard for us to get into the league,” Johnson said (via ESPN). “It’s important because now all African-Americans and minorities in this country feel like they’re owners of this team, too, because I’m sitting in this position, and so I can’t wait.”

Johnson made the comments while attending an event at a Washington-area Boys & Girls Club, where the Lakers legend handed out autographed Commanders jerseys with his signature No. 32.

He had a message for the crowd.

“I’m happy to be one of the owners because I look like all of you. That’s a powerful thing,” he said.

Johnson gave credit to Harris for including him in the group, and for the support of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I think that the NFL is better because I’m standing here,” Johnson said. “I think that this ownership group is better because I’m standing here. I know what I stand for, who I am, and I know that there’s a lot of minorities standing on my shoulders. I get that, but I got broad shoulders.”


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.