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NFL Boosts its Exec Diversity: League Now Has Record Five Black General Managers

The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings both hired Black candidates to fill their vacant GM positions. Ryan Poles, 36, will lead the “Monsters of the Midway,” after 13 years in the Kansas City Chiefs organization. He was once an undrafted free agent by the team in 2008 and will now replace Ryan Pace in the executive position.


Division rival Minnesota then hired 40-year-old Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the former Browns VP of football operations as its GM. KAM is a former Princeton basketball player who graduated with a degree in economics and also attended Stanford. The former Wall Street trader and portfolio manager is considered an analytics guru. He represents the innovative paths African-Americans are taking to attain executive jobs in pro sports. 

They join Andrew Berry (Browns), Martin Mayhew (WFT) and Chris Grier (Dolphins) as the only Black GMs in the league. That’s four more Black GMs then there are head coaches, with Mike Tomlin being the lone Black representative. 

Both have their work cut out for them, as they now have to hire a head coach to lead each respective franchise.

Many Believe Poles Chose Bears Because Of QB Justin Fields: Franchise’s First African-American GM

Poles was highly sought -after and had the pick of several jobs, but many believe he chose the Bears because of the opportunity to cultivate the development of quarterback Justin Fields. Viewed as a rising executive, Poles has worked under three different successful GMs (Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and Brett Veach) during his tenure with the Chiefs. 

Read the full story at The Shadow League here.

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