Last week, the lives of over 200 student-athletes were changed after being drafted by a team in the NFL. However of those, 32 of them were lucky enough to be first round draft picks, a goal many set to achieve the moment they set their sites on a professional football career. During the draft last week history was made! For the first time in National Football League history, more than half of the players selected in the first round of the draft were represented by black agents.
17 of the 32 players who were drafted on last Thursday night had black agents. Nicole Lynn, the first Black female sports agent to represent a top 3 draft pick in any sport realized the special moment taking place. She and 10 other agents helped to normalize players being represented by a Black agent.
Lynn said, "There’s always a struggle getting people comfortable with you doing the job and understanding that just because you don’t look like Jerry Maguire doesn’t mean you can’t do that job.” She also credited Eugene Parker, who is known in the business as "the godfather of Black agents".
Lynn said of Parker, “Eugene set the tone for all black agents.” While he passed in 2016, his legend status will live on. He represented some of the biggest names in football such as Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward, many times being described as the first Black super agent.
Lynn told the Washington Post, “From my research, out of all the top black agents, David Mulugheta, Tory Dandy, myself, Chafie Fields, and Damarius Bilbo not any of us have a single white player. I’m not talking about having a few white players. I’m saying not one. And between all of us, we’re talking about more than 150 players. And it’s not for lack of effort. I can’t get a white player, and I’ve tried. Literally my goal this year is to sign a white player. I want them to be able to believe in me because if we really want to change the way athletes view sports, we have to make everyone comfortable with us, not just people that look like us. The real test is to have people that don’t look like you buy in.”
This is a monumental step for Black agents! Representation matters in all facets of life.
**Pictured below are Chase Young (L) who was drafted 2nd overall by the Washington Redskins and Jeff Okudah (R) who was drafted 3rd overall by the Detroit Lions. Both players are represented by LeBron James' close friend and agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.**