Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has become a minority owner of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, the team’s new billionaire principal owner Rob Walton announced Monday, culminating her long, famous history with football – and coming after the Broncos’ sale failed to deliver the league’s first Black majority owner.
Rice will join the ownership consortium led by billionaire Walmart heir Walton, which purchased the team in June.
The team declined to comment on the size of Rice’s stake and financial contribution.
The daughter of a football coach, Rice has deep ties to the sport. She served on the College Football Playoff’s first ever selection committee from 2014 to 2016. The Cleveland Browns famously wanted to interview Rice in 2018 for the head coaching position, ESPN reported at the time, though she said she never interviewed for the role.
$4.65 billion. That’s how much the Broncos sold for last month, the largest sum ever paid for an American sports franchise. Forbes’ latest estimates peg Walton’s fortune at $58.7 billion, making him the 21st wealthiest person in the world.
Rice isn’t the first Bush Administration member to be in a sports ownership role: former President George W. Bush was part of the ownership group of the MLB’s Texas Rangers before selling his stake in the team in 1998, two years before he became president.