If you are a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, you probably know who Matt Ryan and Arthur Blank are. Ryan is the star quarterback who led the team to its second Super Bowl appearance in 2017. Blank is the billionaire co-founder of The Home Depot and the owner of the Falcons since 2002. But did you know that they are also related by marriage? That’s right, Ryan’s wife, Sarah Marshall Ryan, is the niece of Blank’s ex-wife, Stephanie Wray. Here’s how it all connects.
How Matt and Sarah Met
Matt and Sarah met in 2003, when they were both freshmen at Boston College. They were introduced by a mutual friend at a party and hit it off right away. They started dating soon after and became college sweethearts. They supported each other through their academic and athletic pursuits, as Matt played football and Sarah played basketball for the Eagles.
They graduated in 2007 and got engaged in 2010. They tied the knot in 2011, in a lavish ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Georgia. They have since welcomed four children: twin boys Marshall and John in 2018, and two daughters, Remi and Ruby, in 2020 and 2021.
How Sarah and Arthur Are Related
Sarah’s mother is Susie Marshall (née Wray), who is the sister of Stephanie Wray, Arthur Blank’s second wife. Stephanie Wray married Arthur Blank in 1995, and they had three children together: Max, Kylie, and Josh. They divorced in 2013, but remained on good terms.
According to Heavy.com, Sarah and Matt are very close to Arthur and his family. They often attend Falcons games together and celebrate holidays and special occasions. Arthur even walked Sarah down the aisle at her wedding, since her father had passed away when she was young.
Arthur has praised Matt and Sarah for their character and generosity. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2016:
They’re wonderful people. They’re very grounded people. They’re very giving people. They’re very involved in our community, not just because he’s our quarterback, but because they care about other human beings.
How Matt and Arthur Work Together
Matt and Arthur have a strong professional relationship as well. Matt has been the face of the Falcons franchise since he was drafted third overall in 2008. He has been named to four Pro Bowls, won the NFL MVP award in 2016, and holds several franchise records.
Arthur has shown his faith and loyalty to Matt by signing him to lucrative contract extensions over the years. In 2018, Matt became the first NFL player to earn $30 million per year with a five-year, $150 million deal. In 2021, he agreed to restructure his contract to help the team with its salary cap situation.
Arthur has also expressed his admiration and respect for Matt as a leader and a competitor. He told ESPN in 2019:
He’s a great quarterback; he’ll be a Hall of Fame quarterback; he’ll be a championship quarterback – I believe that with all my heart – before he retires.
Matt Ryan and Arthur Blank are more than just a quarterback and an owner. They are also family members by marriage, thanks to Sarah Marshall Ryan’s connection to Stephanie Wray Blank. They share a bond that goes beyond football and business. They are friends who care about each other’s well-being and happiness.
Is Sarah Marshall related to Arthur Blank? The answer is yes, they are uncle and niece by marriage. And they are part of a remarkable family that has made an impact on the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta community.