Allen Media Group CEO Byron Allen is planning to bid for the Denver Broncos, a move that could make it the first Black-owned NFL team. The news comes as the League is in the midst of controversy and a lawsuit over coaching diversity.
Allen confirmed to Deadline that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft first came to him back in November of 2019 “and asked me to take a good look at buying an NFL team.”
“After serious consideration, I strongly believe I can help effectuate positive changes throughout the league,” he said, calling his decision “the start of a process.”
Brian Flores, the former coach of the Miami Dolphins, last week sued three teams – including the Broncos, the Giants and the Dolphins – and the League, alleging racial discrimination and racist hiring practices.
(Flores also alleged that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 a loss in the 2019 season so the team would have a stronger chance of securing a top draft pick.)
Allen noted that teams don’t become available very often and said he had been leaning towards making a bid before the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Federal Court. The NFL has called the allegations “without merit.” But Goodell in a memo called the Leagues lack of diversity “unacceptable” — particularly with respect to head coaches.
Flores’ legal team called the statement more of a “public relations ploy than real commitment to change.”
The Broncos were officially put up for sale a week ago by the Pat Bowlen Trust. CEO Joe Ellis said the idea is to have a sale closed by the start of the 2022 season. Allen will head an investor group culled from Hollywood, Wall Street, Hollywood, sports and business. The bidding could reach as high as $4 billion.
Bloomberg first reported on Allen’s planned bid.
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