INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts have a new team member, but you won’t see him on the field.
His job is to push efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Colts announced plans to create the position this summer just as Indianapolis and other cities around the country were experiencing widespread protests.
The diversity, equity and inclusion director is Brian Richardson. He said his role is to assemble voices to hopefully build a better future.
For the Colts, there’s more to life than football. For many of the team members fans see on and off the field, creating a more diverse team and world makes the list. After months of protests surrounding racial injustice, it’s a topic not easily ignored.
“Everything that’s happened has forced a lot of people to see what has been obvious for some for several years,” Richardson said. “So now with that heightened sense of what’s going on and we’re talking about it, I think it’s forced us to say this is what we’re going to do moving forward.”
In June, the Colts announced plans to hire a diversity, equity and inclusion director.
“The mission of the Colts is to entertain, unite and inspire by winning the right way, and that’s why creating this new position to focus solely on diversity equity and inclusion was so important to us. With Brian’s education and background in sports management and his experience building diversity programs from scratch, we are excited to welcome him to the Colts family and to empower him to make a real difference in our organization and in our community.”
Jim Irsay, Owner of the Indianapolis Colts
After months of searching, they hired Richardson. Much of his professional career has involved the type of work needed to fulfill this role.
“What we’re doing is trying to create a better environment, better opportunities for those coming after us,” Richardson said. “At the same time how can we salvage the experiences of the people who are currently here.”
This isn’t the Colts first step in pushing for something like this. Earlier this year some players wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts onto the field. On Juneteenth, the day slaves in Galveston, Texas found out they were free, is now a team holiday.
“I just see myself as being part of a team,” Richardson said. “So I’m looking forward to working with people who laid the ground work to make this happen.”