New Baltimore Ravens president Sashi Brown says team will continue to be 'model' in diversity

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In becoming the second Black team president in the NFL, Sashi Brown said he wants the Baltimore Ravens to remain leaders in providing opportunities to minorities.

"I think this is something that, we as a league [and] we as an organization need to be committed to regardless of your background, color or gender," Brown said Thursday at his introductory news conference. "We will do better. It's going to be a commitment. I know it's important to Steve [Bisciotti, Ravens owner]. I know it's important to Dick [Cass, outgoing Ravens president]. I think that's why Baltimore has been a model on this topic, and we will continue to be under my leadership."

Brown, 45, will officially take over for the retiring Cass on April 1. He joins the Washington Commanders' Jason Wright as the only Black team presidents in the NFL.

During his 30-minute media session, Brown cited the Ravens' history for promoting diversity in the organization. Ozzie Newsome became the NFL's first Black general manager in 2002, holding that position for 17 years.

Brown acknowledged that opportunity for minorities in the NFL is "a big, complicated topic." Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the league and three teams last month alleging discrimination in his interviews and his firing in Miami.

Although Brown is hopeful his hiring can lead to more opportunities for minorities in the NFL, he doesn't want progress to be contingent on the success of one individual.

"The first thing I would say, we just shouldn't, here in 2022, being only the second African American [NFL team president]," Brown said. "We need to do better. Wall Street needs to do better, and the NFL is no different."

Brown worked the past two years for Monumental Sports and the NBA's Washington Wizards after spending 12 years in the NFL. From 2013 to 2017, Brown served as executive vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns.

On Thursday, Brown did not want to rehash his time with the Browns, who struggled to a 1-27 record with him in charge of personnel.

"Enough's been written about Cleveland and my days there," Brown said. "I've certainly turned the page, and it's plenty time that we move on from that."

Cass, 76, told Bisciotti last September that the 2021 season would be his last and then spearheaded a search for his successor. He gave a list of seven candidates to Bisciotti, who quickly zeroed in on Brown's résumé and experience.

Brown becomes the third team president in the history of the Ravens, who have won two Super Bowl titles and 233 games in 26 seasons.

"The sustained success is really the focus here," Brown said. "That ... calling card of the Ravens will continue to be our focus as I come in as president."