In the realm of professional sports, the tales of exceptional athletic prowess are often intertwined with cautionary tales of financial struggles. It is no secret that a significant number of Black athletes, despite earning vast fortunes during their careers, have faced financial challenges that have left them broke by the time they retire. Poor financial decisions, lavish spending, and unscrupulous advisors have contributed to this unfortunate trend.
According to CNBC, an estimated 60 percent of NBA players go broke within five years of retirement, and 78 percent of former NFL players experience financial distress two years after retirement. The causes behind these financial woes are multifaceted. Factors such as sudden wealth, lack of financial education, pressure to provide for family and friends, and susceptibility to poor financial advice have all played a role in contributing to the predicament.
Amidst the narratives of financial turmoil, it is vital to shine a spotlight on Black athletes who have defied the odds and achieved lasting financial success. By showcasing their stories, we emphasize the significance of financial literacy, prudent investment decision-making, and the potential for long-term wealth accumulation. These athletes serve as beacons of hope and inspiration, illustrating that financial security is attainable beyond the confines of sports. In no particular order, here are 10 black athletes who have built massive wealth outside of sports:
Magic Johnson (Estimated net worth: $620 million)
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, a legendary basketball player, has become a prominent figure in business and investment. After retiring from the NBA, Magic focused on entrepreneurship and started Magic Johnson Enterprises. He invested in various ventures, including real estate, movie theaters, and restaurants. His company also partnered with Starbucks to bring coffee shops to underserved communities. Magic Johnson’s business acumen and strategic investments have helped him amass a considerable fortune.
Michael Jordan (Estimated net worth: $2 billion)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan extended his success beyond the court. Through endorsements and his iconic Jordan brand, which is a subsidiary of Nike, he has built a multi-billion-dollar empire. The Jordan brand encompasses a range of apparel, footwear, and accessories, making Jordan one of the wealthiest athletes in history.
Serena Williams (Estimated net worth: $260 million)
Renowned tennis superstar Serena Williams has not only dominated the sport but has also ventured into entrepreneurship. She launched her own clothing line called “Serena” and invested in various companies, including the Miami Dolphins football team and the online learning platform MasterClass. Serena’s business ventures, combined with her tennis career earnings and endorsements, have contributed significantly to her wealth.
LeBron James (Estimated net worth: $1 billion)
LeBron James, a basketball icon, has made strategic moves outside of sports to amass substantial wealth. Beyond his NBA salary and endorsements, LeBron co-founded the media production company SpringHill Entertainment, which has produced critically acclaimed content. He has also invested in companies like Blaze Pizza and has recently become a partner and partial owner of the Boston Red Sox. LeBron’s diverse investments and business ventures have boosted his financial success.
Venus Williams (Estimated net worth: $1 billion)
Tennis legend Venus Williams has successfully ventured into entrepreneurship and interior design. She established her interior design firm called V Starr Interiors and has worked on various projects, including luxury homes and hotel spaces. Venus has also authored books, pursued fashion ventures, and engaged in endorsement deals. Her entrepreneurial endeavors have contributed to her wealth alongside her achievements on the tennis court.
Shaquille O’Neal (Estimated net worth: $450 million)
Known for his dominance on the basketball court, Shaquille O’Neal has also made a name for himself in the business world. He has invested in various ventures, including real estate, restaurants, and technology companies. Shaq is also a savvy entrepreneur, with successful partnerships and endorsements, including a line of sneakers and a stake in the Sacramento Kings basketball team.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Estimated net worth: $450 million)
Recognized as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has amassed an incredible fortune both inside and outside the ring. With his exceptional boxing skills, Mayweather secured lucrative pay-per-view deals for his fights, earning substantial amounts of money. He has also ventured into entrepreneurship, including his own promotional company, investments in real estate, and a line of merchandise.
Naomi Osaka (Estimated net worth: $51 million)
As one of the brightest stars in tennis today, Naomi Osaka has made significant strides off the court as well. Beyond her impressive endorsement deals, Osaka has actively pursued business ventures. She has invested in professional women’s soccer teams and joined the ownership group of the North Carolina Courage and Angel City FC. Osaka’s focus on social justice initiatives has also led to partnerships with various brands and increased her financial influence.
Dwyane Wade (Estimated net worth: $170 million)
Former NBA player Dwyane Wade has successfully transitioned into entrepreneurship and investment. He co-founded the fashion brand “Wade” and launched his own wine label called “Wade Cellars.” Wade has also made shrewd investments in companies like Beyond Meat and acquired ownership stakes in businesses like the Utah Jazz basketball team. His business acumen has been instrumental in building substantial wealth beyond his basketball career.
David Robinson (Estimated net worth: $200 million)
David Robinson, known as “The Admiral,” had a stellar basketball career playing for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. However, his financial success extends far beyond the basketball court. Robinson took a keen interest in business and investments during his playing days. Following his retirement, he founded Admiral Capital Group, a private equity firm focused on real estate investments. The firm has been involved in various successful projects, including hotel acquisitions and property development. Robinson’s savvy investments and entrepreneurial ventures have contributed to his estimated net worth of $200 million.
This list is not by any means exhaustive and represents only a selection of black athletes who have achieved substantial wealth outside of sports. There are numerous other remarkable individuals who have also built significant financial success through entrepreneurship, investments, and various business ventures. These athletes’ stories highlight the potential for financial prosperity beyond their sporting careers and serve as inspiration for others to pursue financial literacy, wise decision-making, and long-term wealth accumulation.