“It’s going to change the game, now players know the power they have.”
The era of athlete empowerment, financial and social consciousness and the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit of the Black athlete continues with Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary.
Gary isn’t your typical future Top 10 NFL Draft pick.
His pro abilities have been evident since high school and he’ll get a chance to fulfill his dream in the NFL. With all of that still ahead, Gary is already preparing for a prosperous life after football.
Yesterday, he announced that he’s the CEO of Rashan Gary Sports agency.
“I always had a dream of playing in the NFL and leaving a legacy,” Gary told The Associated Press. “The older I got, I understood that football is not forever. This is a step to take care of my family in the long run. Starting this agency is a way I can definitely do that in my years on the football field and the years when I’m not on the football field.”
“It’s going to change the game,” Gary explained. “Now players know the power they have, and taking this step is big for me, my family and my dream.”
According to ESPN, the agency is a family affair. It’s a groundbreaking endeavor.
“Gary’s mother, Jennifer Coney-Shepherd, is the president of the five-person agency. Certified agent Ian Clarke will negotiate Gary’s contract and will be paid as an employee of the agency instead of getting a percentage.”
Gary basically cut out the middleman and is taking control of his own destiny and money. As he prepares for the NFL Draft, his intelligence and vision is something that should impress prospective teams.
The agency has just two clients so far, so its not like Drew Rosenhaus is going to go out of business tomorrow. It’s simply another example of how rapidly the game is changing.
“Rashan Gary Sports is set up for players to take ownership of their intellectual property,” Clarke told ESPN. “Our model, which we’d rather keep quiet for now, helps players with their finances on the front end.”
Gary has sent shockwaves throughout the industry and has the elite agencies and super agents quivering in their boots.
It’s another bold move as athletes of color continue to be less reliant on the old exploitive “system” of doing business. The newer focus is on community and self-empowerment, and keeping a larger percentage of the total pie.