This Consulting Firm Is  Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’

This Consulting Firm Is Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’

 American football player in a haze and rain on black background. Portrait. Athlete dissecting white smoke and water drops. Sportsman shines in the rays of light By Jasmine Browley ·Updated February 16, 2024

In 2015, Sports Illustrated reported that around 80% of retired NFL players go broke in their first three years out of the League. Back then, the income in the NFL was about $750,000, yet many footballers found themselves in dire financial straights, and often seeking refuge in bankruptcy protection filings.

Michael Ledo doesn’t want the current generation of players to face the same fate.

He was inspired to launch his business consulting firm Rise Advisors, after watching his high-powered NFL agent uncle, Eugene Parker, shape the careers of seven Hall of Famers including Deion Sanders, Emmett Smith and Rod Woodson among others.

“I got to see Black excellence in close proximity that me know a career doing what I love the most, helping people build wealth, is possible,” Ledo tells ESSENCE.

Although he didn’t think he’d be doing what he’s doing right now, his uncle gave me an entrepreneurial identity. Now, his firm is managing a client portfolio worth $100M+ that includes the likes of Jessie Bates III, Matt Judon, Jaylon Smith, and Blake Fisher, who is expected to be the 2nd overall pick in the NFL.

Rise Advisors plays the role of a fairy godparent, so to speak, for its clients. Not only does the team identify fitting business opportunities, it brokers, oversees, and manages them alongside its clients. It also provides agents, managers, publicists and a myriad of other pros that the player may need in their quest for financial viability.

“Our success depends on the success of our clients,” Ledo says. He explains that as opposed to his firm taking a commission from every successful project they broker, the firm is paid bottom line of its clients’ net worth, “not off of their pay.”

He gives the example of an agent getting paid 3% of a $100 million contract they helped broker on behalf of a client.

“We get paid on the bottom line of what they’re worth in investments,” he says. “So, how much do you have in real estate? How much do you have in equities and stock and bonds? How much do you have in venture? How much do you have sitting in the bank? We aim to grow that worth because if it grows, our pay grows.”

Ledo says he created this compensation structure for the company because many athletes, particularly Black athletes, aren’t given guidance to properly allocate a new influx of cash. But most importantly, he provides mentorship when it’s needed the most, When asked if he feels like he also takes on a paternal role in addition to consultant he responds in the affirmative.

“I do,” he says. “I take a strong responsibility in protecting them and educating them. I don’t ever desire to control them because I don’t want to be controlled, but that’s very much true. That’s very much true. And it feels good to know I have a part in helping their futures remain bright.”

The post This Consulting Firm Is Making Sure Black Athletes Don’t Fall Prey To The ‘Broke Curse’ appeared first on Essence.


Ye Drops Surprise Endorsement Of Donald Trump Despite Past Beef 

Ye Drops Surprise Endorsement Of Donald Trump Despite Past Beef 

Ye gave Republican former President Donald Trump his endorsement for the 2024 presidential election. In a video circulating on social media, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, said Donald Trump will have his support in November 2024. When someone asked the Chicago-born artist if he was still supporting Trump, he responded, “Yeah, of course, it’s Trump all day, what you talking about? You know what it is!”

The Late Registration rapper first pledged his allegiance to Trump after infamously appearing at the White House in 2018 sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat. Lunch with the then-president turned into a bizarre press conference on appearances and deals. “What I need ‘SNL’ and liberals to improve on is, if he don’t look good, we don’t look good. He has to be the freshest, the flyest, have the flyest planes. He has to look good!” Ye said. “When we make everything in China and not America, we’re cheating on our country.”

The “Jesus Walks” emcee’s tone changed in 2022 during a dinner at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, where Ye allegedly asked Trump to be his 2024 running mate. But things took a negative turn once Trump insulted Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, calling her “the World’s most overrated celebrity.” Trump also accused Kardashian of voting for “crooked Joe.” According to 2023’s tell-all book Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party, Trump said he “did help with prisoner commutation, but only if deserving, and much more so for Kanye West than for Kim, who probably voted for Crooked Joe Biden, and look at the mess our Country is in now.” Since then, Trump has been drowning in a slew of legal battles for defamation and sexual assault. Shortly after the release of his album Vultures I, a collaboration with singer and rapper Ty Dolla $ign, Ye was called out by the estate of the late Donna Summer and by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne for using their music samples without receiving clearance. Vultures 1 was removed from but later reinstated on iApple Music and Spotify.



Angry White Conservatives Just Can’t Accept The Black National Anthem Being Sung At The Super Bowl

Angry White Conservatives Just Can’t Accept The Black National Anthem Being Sung At The Super Bowl

Andra Day performs Lift Every Voice and Sing prior to Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Perry Knotts / Getty

At this point, it’s just kind of amusing to watch white conservatives get their Klan-derwear all in a bunch over literally any mundane thing that has the word “Black” behind it.

For the second year in a row, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” aka the Black National Anthem, has been performed during the Super Bowl, and for the second year in a row, prominent white conservatives, along with their white-and-teary followers, have complained about it ad nauseam.

Here’s Megyn Kellythe former Fox News host who famously took umbrage with Santa Clause and Jesus being depicted as Blacksuddenly taking a pro-colorblind stance on the official national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“The so-called Black National Anthem does not belong at the Super Bowl. We already have a National Anthem and it includes EVERYONE,” said the woman who thinks blackface is fine but considers the Black National Anthem an insult.

Honestly, it isn’t clear why Kelly and other white people feel left out of a song that literally directs us to “Lift EVERY Voice and Sing.” It’s not as if the original poem written by James Weldon Johnson included the lyrics: “Lift every voice and sing…aht aht aht…not you, white people, y’all gotta whisper.”

Ironically, none of these so-called American patriots appear to be familiar with the history of either anthem.

White people across social media have insisted that America has only ever had one national anthem and that’s why it’s the only one that should be observed. Factually, America has only had an official anthem at all for less than a century. “The Star-Spangled Banner” may have been written in 1814, but it only became the national anthem in 1931, and that was after racist lyrics were omitted that have been interpreted as threats to enslaved Black people who fought for the British during the Revolutionary War.

They also appear to think the Black National Anthem is something new. I mean, we all know that like critical race theory, the word “woke,” Swag Surfing and Travis Kelce’s haircut, a thing doesn’t really become a thing until white people discover it no matter how long said thing has been around. So, it isn’t terribly surprising that ever-Columbusing white people appear to believe the song is something new put forth to further divide America, as opposed to a poem written in 1900 before it was adapted into a song and eventually dubbed by Black people as the “Black National Anthem.” The anthem isn’t something that was given to us, it’s something we created during a time when their anthem simply didn’t apply to us—which is the real reason they need it buried. 

It’s also worth mentioning that white America’s favorite jingoism jingle is essentially a song about war, whereas the Black National Anthem is a song about peace and love—so which song is really the divisive one? (Hint: it’s not the one that had to Etch A Sketch pro-slavery lyrics.) 

Here’s the thing, white people, you really just need to let this one go. You have no argument here. Black people, by and large, have never identified with or had an affinity for your precious little white nationalist Diddy-bop, so we made our own. If you have a problem with the existence of dual anthems, we can always just ditch yours. It’s been our anthem for a relatively short time, and just because it came first doesn’t mean we have to stick with it. It doesn’t have to be our default just because centuries after it was created by and for white people, white people suddenly decided it’s a song for everyone.

Actually, if white conservatives really took issue with two opposing symbols being represented in America, they wouldn’t be flying the Confederate flag and protecting Confederate monuments with every “patriotic” breath they breathe.

So, the issue with the Black National Anthem clearly isn’t that America already has an anthem. What is the problem then? It’s a positive, inclusive song about love, God and unity. What part of that has MAGAts of the MAGA world all up in arms? Is it simply the “Black” part?

Nah, couldn’t be. That would be racist.

The post Angry White Conservatives Just Can’t Accept The Black National Anthem Being Sung At The Super Bowl appeared first on NewsOne.

Statue Of Notorious B.I.G. Returns To Brooklyn For Exhibition

Statue Of Notorious B.I.G. Returns To Brooklyn For Exhibition

Source: The Billie Holiday Theatre / The Billie Holiday Theatre

A popular statue commemorating The Notorious B.I.G. will return to Brooklyn for a special exhibit on Black resistance and music in time for Black History Month.

Notorious BIG Statue x Sherwin Banfield

Source: The Billie Holiday Theatre / The Billie Holiday Theatre

On Friday (Feb. 9), The Billie Holiday Theatre announced that it would be hosting Sky’s The Limit: Music Is My Resistance, a visual art exhibition. At the heart of the exhibition will be the striking statue dedicated to a beloved son of the borough, the late Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace aka Biggie. The statue, created by artist Sherwin Banfield, is entitled: “Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings,” which will be present at the theatre for the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition is slated to also feature smaller sculpted pieces from Banfield’s extensive portfolio of work in addition to paintings, prints and sculptures from a slew of other artists. All of the works will be displayed in the lobby of The Billie Holiday Theatre, located in Bedford-Stuyvesant only minutes away from where The Notorious B.I.G. grew up. The exhibition will open Feb. 15 with a reception featuring a Q&A session with Banfield. The Queens, New York, native will return to the theatre Feb. 28 for an artists’ talk on resistance with Hip-Hop icon and host of Video Music Box, Ralph McDaniels, and Hip-Hop historian Leroy McCarty. Sky’s The Limit: Music Is My Resistance will be free to the public for viewing until May 30. 

“Music and the arts have always been a cornerstone of Black expression through which we get to authentically tell our stories. For this exhibition, we wanted to highlight how vital music has been to the Black experience as it relates to resistance and we wanted to do it in a way that was unique to Brooklyn,” said Shadawn Smith, The Billie Holiday Theatre’s executive director in the announcement. “With his Biggie sculpture as the centerpiece, Sherwin Banfield is the perfect collaborator to help us bring that vision to life.”

“The Notorious B.I.G. is the truest representation of Brooklyn. His poetry is peppered with mentions of Brooklyn throughout his short but impactful career. By immortalizing The Notorious B.I.G into a respected monument, we introduce a unique cultural and educational opportunity for his community and his millions of fans around the world to experience this monument in B.I.G.’s Bed Stuy neighborhood while showcasing a diverse representation of creativity here at The Billie Holiday Theatre,” Banfield said in the press release.

The post Statue Of Notorious B.I.G. Returns To Brooklyn For Exhibition appeared first on Black America Web.

VIDEO: Big K.R.I.T. – “King Pt. 5” (In Studio Performance)

VIDEO: Big K.R.I.T. – “King Pt. 5” (In Studio Performance)

“Big K.R.I.T.’s in-studio performance of ‘King Pt. 5’ is a captivating and raw showcase of the rapper’s lyrical prowess and musical artistry. The video provides an intimate look into the creative process as Big K.R.I.T. delivers his verses with passion and precision, backed by a soulful and immersive beat. The production quality captures the essence of the moment, emphasizing the authenticity of the performance. Big K.R.I.T.’s verses are filled with insightful storytelling, addressing personal experiences, societal issues, and the journey to self-discovery. The in-studio setting creates a genuine atmosphere, allowing viewers to connect with the artist on a deeper level. Overall, the video is a testament to Big K.R.I.T.’s dedication to his craft and his ability to convey powerful messages through his music.”