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Condoleezza Rice

Source: Lior Mizrahi / Getty

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been announced as the newest part owner of the Denver Broncos. On Monday, the team revealed that she joined the Walton-Penner group, who bought the organization for $4.65 billion last month. Rice posted a statement on social media expressing her excitement the next day.

“It is an honor to be part of this ownership group. Football has been an integral part of my life since the moment it was introduced to me, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Broncos organization today,” she wrote. “I spent much of my younger years in Denver, so to be able to combine my love of the game with my love for this great city and team is an adventure of a lifetime and a great opportunity.”

Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton, heir to Walmart empire and the person who led the Walton-Penner acquisition posted the following statement on behalf of the group:

“We’re pleased to welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to our ownership group. A highly respected public servant, accomplished academic and corporate leader, Secretary Rice is well known as a passionate and knowledgeable football fan who has worked to make the sport stronger and better. She is the daughter of a football coach and served on the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee… Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be a great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization.”

Rice is known to be a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, so much so that it was rumored the team was considering her to be its head coach in 2018. So she appeared on the November 22 episode of ManningCast to flatly shoot down the idea.

However, the former stateswoman also lauded the increase of women with coaching positions across the league.

“I’m really glad to see women in the front offices, and by the way in the front office of the NFL as well.” Rice said. “The next breakthrough is to see if women can find their way into position coaching jobs…You’re gonna have to have somebody who goes through that progression…You do not have to have played this game necessarily to understand it and coach it well.”

And Rice’s appointment to the Broncos’ ownership team has gone beyond the ranks of coaching to prove exactly that.