By CBS Baltimore Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — Washington Football hired Jason Wright in August, making history as he’s the first Black man to serve as team president in NFL history. The first month on the job has not been an easy one for Wright as the organization’s culture is being investigated by the NFL after reporting from the Washington Post that described a workplace of misogyny, harassment and inappropriate comments towards women.

Team owner Daniel Snyder has vowed to change the culture inside the organization. In July, he said that after the investigation was complete the team “will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all.”

That culture change will fall under Wright’s purview as team president and he said on this week’s episode of We Need To Talk on CBS Sports Network that when the investigation is finished, any individuals shown to have a pattern of poor leadership will be gone from the organization.

“One of the major sources of insight for me is going to be the independent investigation that I’m going to get the final facts. Everything that comes from the media, from other sources, from our former and current employees will be filtered through that investigation so I have facts I can act quickly on,” said Wright in an interview with Tracy Wolfson. “And I’ll be frank, where there is a fact base around a pattern of poor leadership, those people won’t be in this organization. It’s as simple as that. It’s not rocket science.”

Wright acknowledges that the investigation may take some time to complete and told the We Need To Talk hosts that the biggest thing the team can do now is build the correct HR infrastructure to allow for reporting of any incidents going forward.

“But even ahead of that set of information, there is a set of things that we can do now. We don’t have a robust HR infrastructure,” said Wright. “There is not a clear and safe pathway for someone to raise a concern about a leader not acting in a way that’s in line with our values and not creating an inclusive environment for our colleagues. That doesn’t exist right now. We need to build that. We need a proper head of HR.”

Building out that HR infrastructure and providing those pathways is part of the culture change. The other part comes in including all voices in the conversation about the direction of the franchise going forward.

“We will have one where all voices, including women’s voices, are included on the decisions that are most important for the strategic direction of this franchise,” said Wright. “And, as a result, we will be unlocking better performance and better innovation and we will be smarter. I expect us to start to lead the way on this topic over time versus it being a mark on our organization.”

For Wright, there is no better evidence that the culture shift can lead to better performance than what he witnessed in Week 1 when the team, under new coach Ron Rivera, scored 27 unanswered points to beat the division rival Philadelphia Eagles 27-17.

“It’s wonderful to just be back to playing football. It’s even better to get a win. It makes everything feel slightly lighter on Monday,” said Wright. “But the reason I am most excited about it is, the team demonstrated what a culture shift can do for performance. Coach Rivera has been here for awhile establishing a new culture on the football side and that was a first fruits of that. And I’m hopeful the same thing is going to happen for us on the business side.”

The culture change won’t happen overnight, but Wright hopes that they can build the right infrastructure to be better going forward. For the team on the field, they’re preparing for a Week 2 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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