Black owned businesses face obstacles in creating and growing their businesses, approximately 4.3% of the 22.2 million businesses in the U.S. are Black-owned, and less than 1% of those businesses are generating a profit margin greater than 20%. However 40% of businesses operating in predominantly white areas generate a 20% profit. 40% compared to 1%, that’s called a large discrepancy. The call for increased diversity and inclusion has never been more vogue than now. Everywhere everyone is talking about inclusion. But where?

I believe a push for Black ownership in sports leagues within the United States, should be part of this conversation. While the faces on the field have diversified over time, the ownership and leadership echelons have not . Historically, sports in the U.S. have been a reflection of societal dynamics, often mirroring the prevailing racial inequalities . (Ownership=White, Worker=Black).

The need for Black ownership in sports leagues is not merely a quest for representation; it is a strategic imperative for the holistic development of this great nation( I’ve been chilling with my Liberal friends lately – But I digress).

Own the Narrative

Firstly, ownership is synonymous with influence and decision-making power. Black ownership ensures that ADOS perspectives are not just heard but integrated into the strategic decisions that shape the future of the leagues- Which we are the face of. This diversity at the top needs to permeate through all levels of the organization, fostering our inclusive culture that attracts talent from all walks of life (whose more inclusive then Black Folks?).

An ADOS representative leadership can also play a pivotal role in dismantling systemic barriers that have historically hindered the progress of Blacks. Remember, its not what you know, but Who you know. Me not knowing Mr. Charles Whitemen has always hurt me. Now, knowing ‘Nato Jenkins’ can mean something. Do you know Nato Jenkins?

Secondly, the economic implications of Black ownership in sports leagues are profound. By fostering an environment where individuals from the most marginalized community can thrive as owners, the economic benefits are redistributed more equitably. This creates a positive feedback loop, as increased representation leads to greater economic empowerment, which, in turn, fuels opportunities for the community at large. I.E: Maybe we’ll finally drop the whole reparations thing and bask in our self made prosperity.( we’ll never drop it, but one can hope)

Black Owned

The ability for ADOS to own our own sports leagues is rooted in the principles of liberty, entrepreneurship, self-determination, and economic autonomy – you know, being AMERICAN. Self determination is key, if THEY want US to stop complaining! I feel that through ownership, Black individuals can steer the narrative, redefine the rules, and challenge the status quo with results. The success stories of ADOS entrepreneurs breaking into industries traditionally dominated by others, serve as powerful testaments to our innate ability within the Black community to overcome challenges and achieve greatness despite obstacles. Embodying the American Dream!

Black ownership in sports leagues serves as a source of inspiration for future generations outside of sports. As the young aspiring ADOS witness individuals from their own community ascend to ownership positions, it becomes a tangible representation of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and breaking down barriers. This positive reinforcement contributes to the empowerment and motivation of individuals in my community who may have otherwise felt excluded from legitimate business.

The Path to Viability:

The experiences of the WNBA and MLS offer valuable insights into the economics of new sports leagues in the 21st century. These leagues understand that building a loyal fan base, securing media contracts, and establishing a presence in the sports landscape take time. They have consitantly grown in size and fanbase since their inception in the 90’s.

However, after 20+ years of operation each, neither of these leagues has been able to be profitable. Each league losing millions every season. The WNBA and MLS exemplify how initial financial losses are not an insurmountable obstacle to success. These leagues have demonstrated the importance of patience, strategic planning, and a commitment to long-term growth. While immediate financial losses may be part of the process, it’s important to consider the long-term perspective.

Case in Point

Established as a professional 3-on-3 basketball league, the Big 3’s unique format,features retired NBA players and other basketball veterans competing in half-court games, has garnered crazy buzz and fan interaction. It trends on ‘X’ consistently, is covered by major outlets, and is Black Owned. Ice Cube ( yes, F’The Police Cube) is the owner/founder of this new league. It’s distinctive blend of nostalgia, Black culture and high-octane competition has translated into strong viewership and fan engagement, propelling the league’s popularity to unprecedented heights.

Ice Cube’s Big 3 League has achieved remarkable success since its inception, both in terms of its impact on basketball culture and its financial viability. With lucrative broadcasting deals, sponsorship agreements, and merchandise sales contributing to robust revenue streams. As a result, the Big 3 League stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of basketball and its ability to adapt to new formats, captivating audiences and solidifying its position as a noteworthy player in the sports entertainment landscape. As well as a testament to what Blacks can do, with resources and the ability to do business without fear of having an angry mob come burn it down. (*cough* Tulsa!)

And of course there is Dany Garcia Afro-Latina co-owner of the XFL.  According to a Forbes article, about a quarter of the XFL’s income comes from ESPN, which pays the league $20 million per season. The league projects $100 million in revenue for the 2024 season. The XFL has capital commitments in place for years one through four, and the league has signed sponsorships with national brands such as Progressive and Under Armor. I wrote a great article about her here.

Dream Team

The need for ADOS to own our own sports leagues is not a trivial matter of representation; it is a transformative step toward a economically empowered, and inspiring future for my people. The ability for Black individuals to rise to ownership positions is not only a testament to our entrepreneurial spirit but also a catalyst for positive change within this country and beyond. As we embark on this journey toward perfection, let us recognize that the path to a truly equitable landscape involves providing opportunities for ownership and leadership that transcend racial and gender boundaries. Remember that America is always on the path to becoming a more equitable and thriving ‘democracy’, we aren’t there yet. We are on a path to perfecting this union, that’s the dream!

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