The Denver Broncos football team announced this morning that DU alum Condoleezza Rice is set to join the franchise’s new ownership group. Rice has long expressed an interest in the NFL, citing the role of Commissioner of the NFL as her ‘dream job.’ She took it one step further with her role as part of the ownership group of the Broncos which will be directing the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goddell.
The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group is pleased to welcome former Secretary of State @CondoleezzaRice to its ownership group.
Statement » pic.twitter.com/yqVHrPhC2M
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 11, 2022
In 2018, the former Secretary of State told CNN, “When it comes to football, I’m a hypocrite. I have a love-hate relationship with the game. I love the competition and strategy of the game but often hate the politics – on and off the field.
I love the savagery of the game but can’t tolerate boorish behavior in and around the game that denigrates and devalues women. But wow, do I love the beauty of a quarterback’s tight spiral pass plucked out of the air by a Jerry Rice-like receiver; the power of a Jerome Bettis-like running back pushing through the end zone, the gnarly scrimmages across the offensive and defensive lines. But then, it depresses me that players risk their lives and their bodies for a game that has failed to put their safety first.“
That same year, ESPN reported that Rice was being considered for the head coaching position of her favorite team, the Cleveland Browns. Due to a lack of coaching qualifications, that rumor never came to fruition.
While today’s announcement was a surprise, it should come as no surprise as the NFL looks to diversify its ownership groups with outstanding, qualified candidates. She currently serves as a professor at Stanford University as the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.
Rice moved to Denver at the age of 12 with her mother Angelena and father, John Rice, who became a professor and dean at the University of Denver. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Village, and graduated at age 16 in 1971. Rice enrolled at the University of Denver where her father was then serving as an assistant dean.
Rice initially majored in music at DU but began to consider alternative areas of study. She attended an International Politics course taught by Joseph Korbel, the father of another future alum and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, which sparked her interest in international relations. This decision ultimately led to her selection as Secretary of State in the George Bush, Jr. cabinet.
Rice takes yet another step in her illustrious career, joining the Denver Broncos’ organization ownership group in the public announcement today.