Everyone talks about LeBron James, Russell Wilson
When did you realize it was necessary to have this foundation for black professional athletes?
It became very obvious to me when I saw a lot of our black athletes were being disrespected. I think we as country and globally have to really think about the contributions that have been created with sports and how it has had a positive impact on our society.
How important is it to honor Black athletes of the past and future?
It is truly important not to forget the past as often said “you can repeat it.” It’s important to know and pay homage to tennis, MLB, golf, track & field, NFL, NBA etc. We often think about the active athletes which is great, however great legends were before the present athletes and if wasn’t for the legends and icons before it wouldn’t be a future for a lot of these athletes.
Where do you think the disconnect starts, between the representation of Black athletes and American history?
It started at the turn of the century. Back then, you had several leagues such as the National Negro League, which was created because the MLB wouldn’t allow black athletes to play. In 2020, it will be the 100th anniversary of the National Negro Leauge and it wouldn’t be for decades later that Jackie Robinson would be allowed to play for the Dodgers. This practice continued in pretty much all the leagues. The NFL league saw its first 2 black players in 1920 and its 100th year anniversary is also in 2020. NBA wouldn’t see its first 3 players until the 1950-1951 season so this is the 70th year. Our Foundation will be celebrating all of these leagues anniversaries as well as inducting several athletes into our Hall of Fame July of 2020 in Atlanta
Explain your motto, “Changing our own lives”.
“Changing our own lives” is not just about changing people we impact as an organization. It’s about changing the lives of the athletes especially when they continue to talk about society issues under our “justice for all” initiative that deals directly about racism and hatred and how our global institute of STEM will impact the world. So its not just about changing the lives of others, it’s also about “changing our own lives”.
Under the foundation, what is the expectation of past and present athletes for our future athletes?
To gain knowledge and to have the same hope and dream that is passed on for inspiration. We want every generation to know theirs this little bit of hope that the needle moves more from icon athletes to ownership and more diversity and inclusion for a better tomorrow.
In what ways can the African American community support the NABPA?
I think the most impact is to continue the support of the foundation through donations as well as volunteering for events that we host around the country. We continue to thank everyone for the donations and for spreading the information.
Make sure to learn more about the National Black Professional Athletes Foundation.