April 17, 2024

Magic Johnson officially joins the NFL Chiefs as a co-owner

Entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has added to his illustrious business portfolio by officially becoming part owner of the Washington Chiefs.

NFL owners voted unanimously Thursday to approve the sale of the team to a group led by billionaire Josh Harris that includes the five-time basketball champion. The group is taking ownership of the Commanders from beleaguered owner Daniel Snyder for a record $6.05 billion.

The Chiefs were a troubled franchise under Snyder, whose ownership was subject to much controversy. He has been investigated twice by the NFL for inappropriate workplace conduct, with one probe ending Thursday. He was he was fined $60 million after attorney Mary Jo White determined that the team did not disclose revenue to be shared with other franchises and that Snyder had harassed a female employee.

Magic Johnson at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, in 2018. File Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Johnson, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers, is the franchise’s first Black co-owner. He said he knew the team’s image needed an internal overhaul in an interview with Craig Melvin from NBC News that will be broadcast this Friday morning.

“Well, first of all, you have to let the employees know that you value them, and it’s going to be a safe place to work,” Johnson said. “And we want you to have a winning attitude too. These owners cannot have a winning attitude. It has to trickle down to the employees. And then it has to trickle down to the coaches and trickle down to the players.

“So if we respect them, they will respect us and go to the wall for us. And so – I was in many different sports teams. . . and we know how valuable these employees are, because they leave every single day. And so we are going to hire the best people. ​​​​​​We have already found many great people. So this year it’s really about listening, watching, and learning.”

Los Angeles Football Club Groundbreaking Ceremony
From left, LAFC part owners Peter Guber, Magic Johnson, Curren D. Price, Jr., Will Ferrell and Tony Robbins at the Los Angeles Football Club Stadium groundbreaking ceremony in Los Angeles in 2016. Greg Doherty / WireImage file

Johnson, 63, has ownership stakes in Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club. His company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, owned more than 100 Starbucks from 1998 to 2010. He sold them and earned $100 million.

This run in the NFL may be his biggest jump yet. The series is the king of sports, owning the viewing public during the six-month season.

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