Atlanta Falcons Appoints Terry Fontenot the Team’s First Black General Manager

NFL’s Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday named Terry Fontenot, 48, the team’s new General Manager. The new appointment will make Fontenot the first Black person to hold the position.

The team’s owner, Arthur Blank said the move is strategic in creating more opportunities for NFL minority coaches. He said he anticipates that the league will hire more minority GMs and head coaches in the future, starting from this year.

“In my opinion, I think diversity of the pool of candidates for both the general managers and the head coaches this year was excellent and I also think for coordinators,” Blank said. “I think what you’ll see there were a number of coordinators that were diverse candidates that I think will probably not get opportunities this year but will definitely be getting opportunities in the future.”

Fontenot, a sports veteran joins the Falcons’ organization after leaving the Saints, where he spent the last eighteen years of his career.

“Over the last 18 years I have been honored and blessed with the opportunity to learn and grow within a great organization,” Fontenot said in a prepared statement, “I don’t have the words to express my thanks and gratitude to the late Mr. [Tom] Benson, Mrs. Benson, Mickey Loomis, Dennis Lauscha, Coach [Sean] Payton, and the entire Saints family. Without their mentorship and guidance, I would not be in the position I am today, and we are thankful for everything they have provided our family for nearly two decades.”

Blank said in a statement that when Falcons started the process of scouting for its next General Manager, they were looking out for a person who “not only has a track record of identifying key building blocks that result in successful teams, but also someone who focuses on cohesive relationships within the building.” He added that the organization was very convinced that Fontenot was the right person for the job.

In his written statement, Fontenot also expressed his thrill of joining the Falcons organization in the capacity of the role he would be playing.

“I feel honored and thankful that Arthur Blank and Rich McKay have given me this privilege and I look forward to working alongside the two of them, Arthur Smith and our entire organization as we strive together to reach our competitive goals and give our fans the performances they deserve,” Fontenot said.

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