There’s a new name with a lot of star power now on the list of Black entrepreneurs reported to be vying for the right to buy the Denver Broncos.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is reportedly joining a bid led by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris, according to sports business trade pub Sportico. The publication said that there was no information about how much money Johnson might put up in the bid or what percentage of the team he might own if the Harris group is successful. Forbes values the Broncos at $3.75 billion; Sportico put the number at a slightly higher $3.8 billion.
Johnson would add to his empire by becoming a Broncos owner and brings years of experience as a sports executive. He is already a part owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, joining the Guggenheim Baseball Management group that bought the team for $2.15 billion in 2012. Forbes currently lists the Dodgers’ value at $4.075 billion.
Johnson also served as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations before stepping down over a dispute with the team’s general manager Rob Pelinka.
In addition to his status as a legendary sports figure, prominent front office executive and successful entrepreneur, Johnson brings racial diversity to the Harris group’s bid for the Broncos as a time when the NFL is being sued for racial discrimination. At its ownership meetings in March, the NFL released a statement that said it intended to support minority ownership of its teams going forward, although it was vague about how that would be accomplished.
“The membership will regard it as a positive and meaningful factor if the group includes diverse individuals who would have a significant equity stake in and involvement with the club, including serving as the controlling owner of the club,” the statement read in part, a sentiment that could easily be read as a nod to how the league’s other owners would evaluate any bid for the Broncos.
Of the 32 NFL teams, only the Jacksonville Jaguars has a nonwhite principle owner, billionaire Shad Khan. No team has a Black majority owner. Since a possible sale of the Jaguars was floated earlier this year, two other Black businessmen–financier Robert F. Smith and media entrepreneur Byron Allen–have been rumored to be pursuing the team. Neither has directly confirmed that they are bidding.