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Tackling the NFL's Black Ownership Gap
Could employee ownership be part of the answer?
Despite the large number of Black players that took the field this 2023 NFL season, there is deep inequity in the league. The owner suite today still has zero Black majority owners, and this is an issue for all major sports leagues in the US and not just the NFL.
According to Black Enterprise, this could be explained by the racial wealth gap holding back Black majority owners in sports. They cite research that highlights white households having 84% of the total wealth in the US while Black families have only 4%, despite making up 13% of the country’s population. While the NFL has taken certain steps to address such racial inequalities, like creating a Coaching and Front Office Accelerator that is producing results, Black Enterprise offers ideas to level the playing field in order to increase Black majority owners.
Their ideas include a commitment to holding annual seminars and symposiums involving Black leaders across the fields of business and finance as a way to build important relationships, while also sharing valuable information and tips on how to purchase a team. In hopes of closing the gap in ownership, Diverse Representation has also hosted the first-ever Black Ownership in Sports Symposium in Atlanta, where black students and professionals were taught all about purchasing and owning professional sports teams. Lastly, their solution also includes charging each franchise in the league to create an employee ownership option so that players gain an ownership stake in the team as they seek retirement. They believe these steps for wealth-building opportunities would give players the chance to learn the ins and outs of a team while also closing the Black ownership gap in sports.