11 votes

The fan-controlled Packers remain an antidote to the grimy world of NFL owners

3 comments

  1. Erik
    Link
    With it officially being week 1 of the NFL season, a look at the most unique sports franchise in America: The Green Bay Packers. A fan owned team run by a board elected from by shareholders, they...

    With it officially being week 1 of the NFL season, a look at the most unique sports franchise in America: The Green Bay Packers. A fan owned team run by a board elected from by shareholders, they are the only fan-owned professional team (in a top flight league) in the United States. Current president Mark Murphy is a bit of a pre-cursor to Colin Kaepernick. He was also fired from the NFL after being productive, most likely as political retaliation (in Murphy's case, it was helping spear-head a player's strike).

    Poster note of conflict of interest: I am a Packers owner.

    6 votes
  2. [2]
    DougM
    Link
    What an opening sentence. Wow, I never knew this. That is absolutely amazing. One thing I don't believe was mentioned - but likely was - is, does the board have the final say on player contracts...

    Let’s review some recent NFL highlights, not on the field, but by billionaire owners: Washington’s Dan Snyder – who has overseen years of losing records and high coaching turnover, while fighting to keep the team’s racist name – faces mounting pressure to sell in the wake of sexual harassment revelations.

    What an opening sentence.

    Packers shareholders elect a board of directors, and the directors’ executive committee decides matters that would normally fall on a team owner. The current 45-person board includes six former players and a local tribal leader – as well as Marcia M Anderson, the first Black woman to be a US army major-general, and Valerie Daniels-Carter, a Black entrepreneur-turned business legend. About one in four board members are women; about one in six are Black. It’s not enough for a team that leads the NFL in female fans and is made up of roughly two-thirds Black players, but in a league without a single Black controlling team owner, a seat at the table is a place to start.

    Wow, I never knew this. That is absolutely amazing.

    One thing I don't believe was mentioned - but likely was - is, does the board have the final say on player contracts and drafting? Sorry if this is a strange question.

    5 votes
    1. Erik
      Link Parent
      Not a strange question at all. The Packers are a fairly unique situation. Especially made that way in the NFL because the by-laws state none of the teams can be fan owned, but the Packers were...

      Not a strange question at all. The Packers are a fairly unique situation. Especially made that way in the NFL because the by-laws state none of the teams can be fan owned, but the Packers were grandfathered in.

      To your question: in practical terms, none at all. The fans elect the executive committee at a shareholder's meeting each year. That executive committee then selects the team president. The president takes the place of the traditional owner in most NFL team's hierarchy. In the case of the Packers, the president hires the General Manager, and that person generally has absolute say on players (though the head coach is definitely involved in those decisions). The Packers used to have the general manager even be above the coach, often responsible for hiring and firing them. But recently, Mark Murphy (the current president) has changed it more to a thing where the coach answers to the president instead of the the GM.

      So, it's certainly possible you could do some cat wrangling and get the thousands of shareholders to elect specific board members who then in turn elect a specific president that would then potentially make a specific personal move. But as you can imagine, the logistics of that make it highly unlikely.

      5 votes