3.27.2015

AFTER THE CHEERING STOPS - SPORTS PANEL ON RAINBOW/PUSH WALL STREET SUMMIT 2015 - PART 2

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

As promised, here is part two - I'm sure you got a great deal of information from part one and are ready to dive right in to part two on sports and what happens AFTER THE CHEERING STOPS. 
   
There was an unexpected hiccup in my plan to publish this within two weeks of part one, and that was the unexpected (and to me untimely) death of Anthony Mason, former New York Knick and a friend of long standing.  So I just wanted to take a second to give him homage and then move forward with the balance of the article.  I hope you don't mind:   

ANTHONY MASON 1966-2015

When brother/friend Anthony "Mase" Mason, former New York Knick,  succumbed to a massive heart attack, I couldn't have been more devastated than if he was my own brother. Those of us from Black in the Day at Perks in Harlem counted Mase as a friend.  And it was ever thus, regardless of where you saw him, who he was with, what he was doing, he was always there with a ready, friendly, sultry smile, that deep dimple,  a big bear hug, and something funny to say or share. Mase was so down to earth and affable that he was always welcome - at least in our little circle in uptown Harlem. Back then we'd all gather to watch him, John Starks, Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing and the rest of the team dominate the court on TV - and if you weren't a Knick fan, you had to sit at the other end of the bar.  It always seemed as if less than 20 minutes after the game had ended, Mase would be uptown at Perks trying to fit his long legs under a table.  We are devastated to know that we won't  have the pleasure of his company; but are deeply thankful for all the wonderful times and memories we have to share.  Condolences, Blessings, Peace and Love to his family, friends and fans.  - GDW 



 AFTER THE CHEERING STOPS PART II

As I stated previously, Rev. Jackson's Wall Street Summit is the gift that keeps on giving.  The information is vital regardless of whether you're an athlete, wanna be an athlete, have a son, daughter, aunt, uncle, friend or significant other who was/is an athlete.  The great thing about it is that it is so significantly and sufficiently out of the box that we can benefit greatly by doing some research of our own and following some of the information shared by the panelists.   And during the final week of MARCH MADNESS 2015, is as good a time as any for future NBA stars to also plot out their career paths and beyond -

After the limelight is over, many athletes find themselves in a quandry as to what to do with their lives.  In a great many instances, there has been little if any preparation for financial management, career goals, and transitioning into a "normal" lifestyle.  Some athletes have handled the transition well, while others have unfortunately faced a life of despair, poverty, depression, with some taking a wrong turn to drug abuse and alcoholism.   The members of this panel have been in the throes of working collaboratively and individually to assist former athletic superstars in making pivotal decisions about the next steps in their lives.  The information has not only helped them, but can also be instrumental in helping those of us who never made it to that level plot a track to success as well.  




REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR., National Director, Rainbow/PUSH Sports, served as moderator for the ten member panel, that included:  Matt Gutierrez; Rodney Woods, Gerald Rogers, Dion Southern, Dale Davis, Dana London, Carlton Gamberell II, Dr. David E. Martin, Anthony Simmons, LaMarr Woodley.

MODERATOR REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR., David, you talk about financing and can you talk a little about Your Space, Your Place and Your Vision with what you and Rodney and others are about to do now.

DAVID MARTIN: I've just got to warn you that my father was a minister and his father was a minister, and on ten generations back were ministers, so I'm warning you – you were warned. It's actually interesting because you know one of the things that, if you go back, my father was involved in the intercollegiate peace fellowship from Dr. King, up to Chicago and places across the north. Very early on.

DR. DAVID E. MARTIN
And so I grew up in a very interesting house and actually got very passionate about my father's passion. And what I found was that there was a generation where minority owned businesses were accessing capital and accessing business opportunities through the glass floor and not a glass ceiling. You actually could get up to a limit, but you couldn't get over that limit; and it turns out that the way the rules were written for accessing capital got you to a place where you had the ability to get up to a set aside, inside a procurement or inside business development; or inside all these other things. Getting beyond that the hurdle to get across was either to give up your minority underships in the business, or actually give yourself into a situation where you had to diversify laterally across the businesses. But there was actually no ability to get a real transition. And so what we decided to do was to put together a platform that allowed capital to allow diversity businesses to go to scale. And the reason why that's important in the context of sports is because there is a game theory problem with athletes. The game theory problem is you're getting paid in a short game, and the owners and by that I mean media, distribution, and owners of franchises are playing the long game. And so we can talk about all the ten million dollar, fifteen million dollar, twenty million dollar contracts, but the problem is after tax, after distribution, after all of the things, what is actually being brought home to communities, brought back to the places where the people have passion is not the number you hear on the press release. And so what we wanted to do is to get into a situation where that balance sheet could be used to support minority owned businesses – not from an equity investment, not from a diluted standpoint, but from a letter of credit standpoint. It turns out – and this is a fundamental piece of economics that is missing from these conferences – the ability to match  with an investment grade credit – so that if I have a diversity supplier and that's supplier is supplying to a GM or Ford, or Toyota, their investment grade counterpart is bankable assets; but unfortunately investment advisers are telling athletes to go buy bonds issued by majority owned bond issuers and they're not lining the investor capital next to the business opportunities that are diversity owned. It is a segregated market with a fixed income and capital space, so what we've done is we've changed that game. We've brought long duration, high quality credit assets, forward, so that diversity businesses now can buy through that glass floor and can start going to scale. And to do that required phenomenal amounts of education. And you've heard this several times, already – it's not just good enough to go to a person who looks like they're carrying a business card from Goldman Sachs or from a Bank of America, or something else. You actually have to be taught what the different structures of capital are, how to deploy those capital structures, and what real risk is. And for those of you not familiar with real risk, if somebody charges you a fee before they give you advice, that's risk number one. Risk number two is that the only products they sell you are the products they're getting commissions on. And if you actually look at most of that statistic, that 82% going bankrupt or whatever that statistic is – you look at where most of those things are, it's not athletes living wrong, it's advisers robbing people blind. And so what we've done is we've instituted a technology platform that goes across the arc of education, and then bring the game theory back so that when we sit down with athletes, like the NBA program that we're doing at the University of Miami now, our objective is to make sure that every pre investor athlete has a portfolio exposure that matches the entertainment company that distributes media, and the owners of the franchise. We're making sure that we have the ability to grow individual athletes to the point where, in that future, it's going to be the athlete that owns the media; it's going to be the athlete that owns their franchise, and it's going to be the athlete one day that buys their ESPN. That's what we're all about.

MODERATOR   REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR.: LaMarr you're spending a lot of time in locker rooms and you're spending a lot of time talking about coverages, 4334 defenses, and being the sack master that you've been. We haven't forgotten about the Superbowl where you knocked Kirby Warner down a couple of times to secure that lead – we didn't forget about that; but the reality is that you're all preparing for the game; you're doing the things that you do from the field, do you ever hear conversations, ever? I mean are guys in the locker room talking about business on any level at all? That's including going out to dinner, after the game or any thing – you know games, one of the practice games? Are they going out and talking about business and that amount of development and community work – any of the things that have been part of the conversation.

LAMARR WOODLEY: No not really. But you know, you don't hear it in locker rooms. It's like if you were talking about financial advisers ripping people off, then yeah, you might get ripped off being that we didn't have that conversation. I get ripped off, you get ripped off – we could have six or seven people get ripped off in the lockeroom, because there's no communication about business and about money. 
LaMARR WOODLEY

 On pay day you hear how much – oh yeah that check came today. You can hear guys talking about that, but there's really no conversation – I mean unless you get with an older guy and see that he handled his business, then those conversations will come up. Like when I was in Pittsburgh, I watched Charlie Bench, because he did a lot of great things in the community. He had a great foundation. I'd seen him on TV doing TV shows. So I got with him. He educated me on that. But a lot of other guys – they there in the spotlight. It's not like high school and college. You know you go to school everyday and you're around each other all the time; you're from the same city; the guys come into the facilities, do their job and they go home. Because everybody has a family. So you don't really hear about the financials. And the other financial advisers they don't know anything about it. They don't know where their money's going, or anything. A lot of guys think about it, but they don't have ownership. They don't own – you know so you make a lot of money while you're in the league. You've got a car. I've got this house, I'm going to South Beach; I doing this – but you don't own it! You know when you've got the big checks coming in, it doesn't look like much is going out; but when the checks stop coming in – now you got “wow!” That's why you get a lot of guys foreclosed because they're upside down- and they owe more money than they actually have in the bank, which don't make sense. We've taken the approach as “I know this game is going to be shorter. In football I'm old; 30 years old – football you're old; I'm not old, I'm healthy. So my goal is when I leave the game, I don't want to owe anybody. I want to be debt free. I own my house, I own my car; I got my stuff, so when I go to sell it, I don't have to call my bank. I have my own. And what you were saying about financial advisers, they'll say 'go take this loan out right here to build your credit up. As a young man you're banking, I don't need to build my credit up right now. But if you're not banking, you can just buy that if you want to – but you're not thinking right now – so you take the advice to go build your credit up but you're not building your credit up when you actually can buy this; and now you go take this loan from this bank, and he gets his kick back in commissions. You know, you don't know that. You find that was happening. So it's all about guys – I don't think the NFL has done a good job of putting those types of things.

We wonder, but they ain't talking about it. There's a sign that hangs up in the locker room but you don't have anybody pushing it like they're pushing drugs. They push that hard. Trust me you got the guy in there waiting on you to come in there and pee in the cup. Now he's looking! But they ain't really pushing the financial part. A lot of guys don't know that they can go back to school for free. They don't push that type of stuff. Then we talk about certain guys in the NFL – doesn't the NFL have the calls – a lot of them are afraid to call because they might work for the team. So a lot of guys might take a chance and get behind the wheel because if the report comes in that LaMarr's out drinking – they feel that the guy is giving them a ___ by reporting them. So there are a lot of things in the NFL – where they talk about “we have this; but they're always pushing. It just hangs up. It hangs right there in the locker room and you walk passed it everyday and you don't even notice it. You're out the league, and you're out for three or four years, to go back and get your degree for free. You don't know that though because the NFL doesn't push that.

MODERATOR REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR.: These things are very serious and he and I have been talking the past few months about learning now some things that are going to help him reach the dreams that he still has. He'll be young when he comes out of the game, means something because you still have a lot of life in you – let's just talk a little bit about what difference it has been, and what Rev. Jackson has provided with his Wall Street Summit and how its really meant to you. Because you're always talking about this and school. But how is all this taking shape for where you want to take your life now?

MATT GUTIERREZ: just want to clarify one thing LaMarr said I had recently retired; and that's true, but I can't speak for the rest of the guys on the panel, but I think for most NFL players, it's not really a choice.
MATT GUTIERREZ


 A lot of times you get hurt, or you get cut too many times, and it's just time to move on. Like I think I've reached my age, my full potential. I'm going to hang them up. That's what it was for me. The phone wasn't ringing any more. And after a tough reality, there's a space when you're two, three, four years old, that's all you think about doing; that's all you really put your energy into. So, I'm not sad about it any more. I'm actually excited. I'm excited to be here, because I feel like I'm a part of the real world now. And I'm realizing that sports, and my time as an athlete, although it was a phenomenal experience, something I wouldn't trade for anything, was also a limited experience. And now, as I step out into the real world, and meet people in many different lines of business, there's endless possibilities, for all of us. And it's intimidating in some ways, but it's also very exciting. And sitting here today I've been in as many panels as I could catch from this morning, and it's just a confirmation for me that you see people from all different walks of life; they're from many, many different industries, and I'll just speak candidly, I look different in this room. This conference is about minorities, women included, and it's no secret that minorities already have a strike against them in our country. And so to sit in the audience and to look at some of these business leaders and to listen to what they had to say, it inspires me and encourages me. I feel like, man these guys are up against it or they had been up against it, and they found a way to compete, and build a successful career; build a successful life. And so from where I'm sitting, like, hey, there's no excuse. If they can do it, I need to go ahead and attack this thing and I can do it too. Hopefully, maybe the Reverend will have me back one day and I'll be sitting on one of the business panels.

MODERATOR REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR.: That's what's up. One of the things we talked about Matt Gutierrez was the ____ could you tell us just a little bit – is that we're trying to help athletes translate what learned to be successful in the field, and how they can apply that to be successful in business. That's what you said to me, and I thought that wasmost I've heard anyone say that. Dana. talk about that mindset, and how guys don't even see how they can apply that to getting up, having the discipline that they have and putting it into something real positive.

DANA LONDON : One of the things – I've taken athletes out to job fairs and have had connections with companies, you know guys that I think can do a particular position – but in tying in with the business initially we'll be done, you know. I said, do you realize that when you play professional sports there decisions, leadership – things that are highly desired, that are translatable to any line of business. 
DANA LONDON

 Any Fortune 500 company can use a person with a mindset of having that that diligence. The fact that only less than 1% of kids who are in organized sports will actually go on and play professionally. So when you take that into consideration it's 1% - so you've got this 1% who have actually made that. And so there's a tremendous amount. And just so you know Matt, Reverend would have you on the sports and the business panel. I've been fortunate to work with Rainbow sports for 19 years now – so you'd be on both. But it's highly translatable and so you have to be able to communicate that to different companies. But more importantly, to communicate that to the athletes to help them to understand that what you have and what you possess on the inside is so marketable; but you have to believe it first. So that's the challenge.

MODERATOR  REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR., You and I were talking about this last night and this somebody who was a baseball player – we got a baseball player in the house – you talked about this last night, about how that path got cut short sooner than you expected, and you had to immediately begin looking at it. It wasn't so much a Plan B, it was a plan because you saw that athletics was not going to be exactly the way you imagined as a child. Tell me a little about that and how you moved into where you are now.

CARLTON GAMBRELL II, I just want to thank Pastor Bryant for having myself and my business partners Gerald Rogers on the panel, as well as Rev. Jackson. A tremendous leader – always, most of my life I've admired everything that he's done. 

GERALD ROGERS
He probably doesn't remember when he came to Columbia University in 1984 when he was running for President, and I was on the Black Student Organization that was kind of escorting him around the campus; but that was a tremendous experience, that he's known as a civil rights leader, but from my perspective, you're an economic equity leader. And that next stage of development. And definitely my path is totally different from most of the people on the panel. I'm in that 99% that they're talking about that did not make it to the professional level. I played baseball starting in Little League and the heights and down to Tampa, FLA with our next door neighbors Gary Sheffield and Floyd Gelman and all these individuals that played out of that league, which is something that people don't understand about this particular league. It is the most successful little league in the history of the United States. Well Chicago Champs, I love that because it was an inspiration – but the thing about this particular league is that between 1970 and 1983 they were in the Little League World Series Championship Games three times. They also won the Southern U regional several times; and have put a tremendous amount of professional ball in the major leagues out of that one community in Tampa, FLA, so the genesis of where I come out from, as it relates to where I was going up through the ranks. You know I started my first year playing – I was a scrub. They used to call me the bunt king. And if you knew anything about baseball, if you bunt every time, you go to bat that's a problem, right. But by the time I got to Columbia University, it's documented I could hit a 95 mile per hour ball. 
 
CARLTON GAMBRELL II

But I made a decision in that situation that I really wanted to just pursue the degree and go into the job force. I lost the love of the game, and I was recruited out of high school. I decided to get the education because it ingrained in me from childhood by my father (who was in the audience, Mr. Carlton Gambrell I). So as we were coming through, he talked about education in the context relating the sports, he would say you have to have an A average, or you will not be playing the next season. So that type of structure my business partner and I, we kind of laid a foundation of this concept of knowledge transfer, information exchange for youth, as well as young adults as they're in their college days; and even the adults after they have finished college. We have several business partners – Dominick Ross, who's with Dallas Cowboys, J.T. Thompson who played for the NY Giants. So we have that spectrum that we're talking about as it relates to – it's one thing if you're in the NBA, and there's only going to be 48 people drafted next year or the next draft. There over 1.5 million kids playing those sports in that same year, and most of them have an aspiration to get to get to that 48 number – that 1%. But really what happens when, after the cheering stops, could be an end point, right? Some people don't make the junior high school teams; some don't make the high school teams; some don't make the college – or to professional because of injuries. So the cheering can stop at any time. So we can talk about the statistics. I understand statistics, but I don't necessarily want to listen to them because if you're talking about the 82% of people that are bankrupt, what about that 20% - what are they doing right that could benefit that number going forward? And when you're talking about 82% of a number that's small what if it was 82% of the 1.5 million? That's a different statistic. So as we look at the initiative that we are undertaking as it relates to knowledge transfer/information exchange, what we're talking about is putting in an infrastructure that takes a holistic approach in the whole person. The book that we wrote is entitled  SUCCESS ON GOD'S TERMS, and has a foundation for a business model that's supported by scripture. So we're saying that we can take that fundamental, common little blueprint that's been given to us, and lay that as a foundation that we can build upon. Because it's not just about business, we're talking about team business; so it has to be a holistic approach: spiritual, mental, emotional, with financial, as well as physical. And our platforms allow that type of mechanism to take place so the education is not just with the athletes after the finish their career, but it's with the 12 year old that needs to understand some things, as they're being scouted as I was. As a 12 year old I was being scouted by high school coaches asking me where did I live. So they could make sure, if I had a relative in their district, they wanted to use that address so that I could go play at that high school. At the age of 12!!! So it starts early. And, you know, I felt good about that, but I didn't really understand what was going on. But there were people around me that were in a position where they were able to help along the way. So the infrastructures that we put in are designed to do that from that young sports figure, all the way to the individuals that have the long careers.

REVEREND JESSE LOUIS JACKSON: I thank you for being here today, and I congratulate you on your work and your careers. This idea that we have, I really hope that we will think about coming together, not just at these annual events - we are so blessed for being able to hop, skip, run, jump and be the best in the world in what you do. 

REV. JESSE L. JACKSON
And Biblically speaking, whether it was the role that David played with Goliath; or Samson – of athletes knew that they were that because of gifts of God – meaning that you can't just decide to run and be a champ; you can't decide to jump up over fences; God is a big part of that, and there are some special obligations. On the other hand there is this need for athletes to appreciate just how powerful you are in changing our culture. It's hard to describe, hard to describe – it was illegal to put Black people – the terms that white people used. You could be arrested for wreckless eyeballing or looking at a white woman. That Jack Johnson can knock a white man down, and when he knocked him down, there were race riots. Just the power of the Black Athlete breaking through the color barriers. Schmelling was more or less the prototype for Hitler's Aryan superiority. And even though Schmelling was not a part of Hitler he was being used as the symbol of the superior strength. And there's nobody in the country, no congressman, no president, nobody that would step in the ring with Max Schmelling, except Joe Louis. It meant he was a hero now, not just a champion. You are standing on the shoulders of athletes – of Jackie Robinson who had to go and break through the barriers so that you could play in Wrigley Field. The reason I want to say this, is because you have to work together more closely. All athletes around the world – whether they're in America, London, or wherever they are, you're created because of Chris Flood. Because Chris Flood sacrificed his home at the height of slavery and said you can't sell me. And all of those in that bargain, he had a total of 12, all of them.


REV. JESSE JACKSON
There's Chester Avery, when Wilt Chamberlin came out he couldn't play for the NBA – he couldn't play because he wasn't eligible to play. Well it took one lawsuit – are you with me so far? - I cannot tell you what it meant when Lou Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) – went to the Basketball League, and they changed the rules and you couldn't dunk any more. They've got that kind of power, and yet with that power comes a special kind of duty. For those who admire you and follow you to keep high and stepping. The one that we want to do for example, LaMarr, is for all of our children in first grade to learn to play the Stock Market Game. The game takes about 6 weeks religiously. They're beginning to get STEM programs into our schools. Every once in a while we'll take a group of athletes down to the New York Stock Exchange. Just to walk the floor – spend a day, just spend a day in the Stock Exchange. Remember we only have Silicon Valley 180 board members, 6 white women, one Black no Latino. We can't wait to get to Apple, but no Blacks were on the board.

My point is that half this room of adults need to sit together and think through what you're going to do. We've gone from picking cotton to picking footballs, basketballs – there is just one little change, and I want you to think about when you get together is why can't athletes – you're smart people – why can't you invest your money in the industry of basketball itself? I can see if you're a Bull, you can't invest in the Bulls – and can't invest in the Knicks - but why can't you invest in NBA Inc? Why can't an athlete invest in NFL Inc? That is not going to go down. It's going to keep riding. But it's illegal to invest your money – it's not illegal, it's a culture; it's a decision that was made. Use what your culture gave you. WE're grown men, we can sit together and come up with a way to invest in the NBA Inc, and have what the marketing, TV, radio, China, Australia – and not when you retire, I mean right now! Because it's NBA, it's not a specific team – so you're above conflict of interest. Why would you have 10 thousand people, 60 times a year and not be able to invest in that. So just as athletes pushed back the bar on on dunking, we must also be able to push back the bar. It still does not make sense to me that you can make millions of dollars and tell you can't spend your money – and you can't spend it where you generate the money. Am I by my self? (AUDIENCE – NO!!)
I'm anxious to take it outside the box; back in the day when they said football's for square,

The lessons learned on the field and on the court are long, lifetime learned lessons. The reasons why we're so good on the ballfield, on the ball court, the reason why we're the best on earth and on the court is that WHENEVER THE PLAYING FIELD IS EQUAL, RULES FOR PUBLIC GOALS CLEAR, REFEREE'S FAIR, SCORE'S TRANSPARENT, WE CAN MAKE IT.  (New Jesse Jackson Mantra - repeat loud and often)

MODERATOR REV. DR. JOSEPH BRYANT, JR.: Thank Reverend Jackson for having the vision for the Athlete's Forum – he was a former quarterback; and just as a bragging point, Reverend went to college on a football scholarship – so that was his way in, and he took advantage of that education. The moderator asked ANTHONY to explain what happens once athletes finish playing, how they need to begin doing what will shape their destiny - A lot of what we do is teach the athlete how to learn how to do that, because it's one thing to say let's do it; it's another thing to learn how to do it. We talk about guys that are open to learning how to invest. How to develop economic plans, financial things that Dave was talking about. I found that you have a whole group of guys who are interested in that kind of thing. 

ANTHONY SIMMONS: Well the first thing we have to do is to get them to the event. Once we get them to the event they will be able to see what's there. 
ANTHONY SIMMONS

We have a lot of athletes who are there who have made it through; and those who didn't make it through. The ones who did make it through, I want them to be there to brand themselves. You once had a name when you played, you have a name now. So why would you brand you name with the companies that are there? We bring in 25 different companies to the event, and these are legitimate companies that come. I won't bring in companies that are not federally reserved. What we are asking the guys to do is just come, sit and learn. You try existing from one situation to another, and it's hard out there. The last thing I want to see – I want to see, you know there are guys out there who were just like me. I was depressed, suicidal ideation, I had it all. I'm not the only one, I'm not the last one, cause they're out there. And this is why I get these guys in, I bring them in to the center and just give them opportunity. Well, I want to go back on one thing that one of the gentlemen had said earlier. {When he played for the San Diego Chargers with fifty-two players on the team, and the coach had a lady who came to talk to us about investments. About you investing in your family and your futures.} Well we were all clear – there were five people that came to that room; I was one of them. So it goes to show the mindset of the athlete. We want to get out there and have fun, do what we have to do after practice. You know, like it was stated earlier, what do we talk about when we're in the camp? What do we talk about when we're in the locker room? We never talked about business. We talked about going out there having a good time."

The numbers of lives Simmons has been able to impact, however, is on the rise as they become more aware of the fact that the skills don't last forever.  In addition to Simmons, other athletes have begun forming their own charitable and tax exempt organizations and an effort to give back to the fans and communities that have supported them.  Greats such as Alonzo Mourning are focused on having an impact in the world.  I will be bringing that interview to you in the near future.  

In the interim  Birthday Wishes to Walter Clyde Frazier who turns 70 this Sunday, March 29.  The great thing about being an Aries is that we're forever young and forever active - He's been celebrating since the 21st, which begins the sign - if you're interested in finding out about the activities leading up to the big day, check him out on FaceBook.  I can't wait to see which suit wins the Favorite Suit Contest.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CLYDE FRAZIER 





 Now that you know, What are you going to do about it?

Stay Blessed &
ECLECTICALLY BLACK

Gloria
 



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