After Michael Jordan’s sale of his majority ownership in the Charlotte Hornets, Black majority team ownership no longer exists in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL or MLS.
But that’s not to say that Black owners don’t exist in professional sports.
When the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title in 2021, we learned about Valerie Daniels-Carter, a highly successful franchise owner, member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors and minority owner of the Bucks.
Last year, Mellody Hobson, F1 star Lewis Hamilton and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became minority owners of the Denver Broncos.
Most recently, we cheered as Magic Johnson became a minority owner of the Washington Commanders. That made Magic the seventh Black minority NFL team owner behind the Williams sisters, Warrick Dunn and the aforementioned Hobson, Hamilton and Rice.
And there are many others including Sheila Johnson (Washington Wizards, Capitals and Mystics), DC United minority owners Mark Ingram II and Yo Gotti and Pickleball owners Kevin Durant, Michael B. Jordan and Drake.
Some of these individuals, like Magic Johnson, are household names while others, like Valerie Daniels-Carter, aren’t as well known. And even more don’t know how to get involved in team ownership.
Diverse Representation wants to change that.
On September 8th and 9th, 2023, the organization will be hosting its inaugural Black Ownership In Sports Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the release, the aim of the event is to “change those demographics and open up more pathways for Black ownership in professional sports.”
“There are currently several initiatives focused on increasing diversity at various levels of professional sports – from the coaching level to the executive level. However, there have yet to be any initiatives or an intentional focus on increasing diversity at the ownership level,” says Jaia Thomas, Esq., founder and chief executive officer of Diverse Representation. “My goal with this Symposium is to provide some tangible tools and resources to help diversify the pipeline of owners.”
The Symposium speakers will share insights into the ownership process, including the opportunities and challenges in purchasing various levels of stakes in professional sports teams.
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