- Businessweek.com Susan...
This topic has been troubling me for quite a while. It probably should have been my first post on MyBlackCoffee. The economic buffoonery of our star rappers and superstar athletes set a terrible precedence for our community. In the media, they are the only black faces shown as multimillionaires and “successful” people. Their depiction of how rich and wealthy people act isn’t exactly model behavior. They’re shown buying cars, houses, and expensive jewelry and if we want to be rich, we should act similarly. These perceptions just aren’t true. In most cases the money rappers rap about, they don’t have themselves. Unfortunately, an alarming majority of athletes end up bankrupt or divorced years after they’re playing days are done (see Antoine Walker, Allen Iverson, and Warren Sapp). It’s unfortunate that a good percentage of the money that the athletes make ends up wasted on houses, cars, and jewelry.
On the other hand, I can only imagine the financial impact on our community if rappers and athletes invested back in their communities. There are great examples of rappers and athletes converting to entrepreneurs. Magic Johnson, a superstar basketball player, retired in the mid 90′s and became a business mogul. Magic Johnson opened Magic Johnson Theaters and made a concerted effort to hire and give minorities business experience. He later owned a string of Starbucks, owns a share of the MarqE in Houston, and recently became a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Imagine the impact on minority unemployment if our athletes and rappers shared the vision of Magic Johnson.
If you don’t believe me, Kevin Hart has an excellent view of trying to keep up with athletes and rappers is a bad idea.
Links: Dr. Boyce Watkins has an intriguing article on rappers and athletes.