WAY TOO TYPICAL: WHY YOUNG BLACK MALES CHASE THE SAME HOOP DREAMS

athlete, ball, basketball

“One in a 4,000 to 12,000.”


going pro

“With the number one pick of the ______draft, the _______ select_____________ from the University of_____________________.” These are the words so many collegiate athletes will not hear. And if you read my previous post about hoop dreams you would know this, but this topic is about something else. It’s about something so much more sinister. And the reason I say sinister is because it actually is the degrading of an entire community. When you have millions of young boys wanting a job only 1:4,233 will get in the NFL and 1:11,771 in the NBA, there is a problem. And that problem is that unless you are able to play a sport or better yet, have a career in entertainment, what are your odds of success. When in reality, the avenue to other careers is a lot more practical.

i want to be what i see

I grew up in an environment where you didn’t see Black doctors, lawyers, engineers, or even that many school teachers. Everybody was struggling to survive, or breaking the law to do so. But, the main thing that benefited me is that I went to schools where you were encouraged to be different and dream it up in life. Now, my career path is geared toward being a self employed artistblack female, cabinet, discussing (Indie film, author, photography, podcasting), but I found this path. I went to business school because I thought it was something I wanted to do. On the other hand, so many young Black males only see the face of success in being the athlete or entertainer. You don’t see the other professionals because once they become successful, they remove themselves from the environment from which they once lived. And then there is always the typical slang rocks without the jump shot. So the idea that criminality is the option outside of winning the lottery is problematic as well.

s.w.o.t. your life

Your life needs to go through a SWOT analysis. But this is something I learned in graduate school pertaining to business. But it can also be used to your advantage in life. Know you strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is something I constantly think about in my own life that so many Black males growing up don’t have or even know about. Meaning, you are 5’9″, your odds of being an NBA All-Star is rare.  That would be seen as a weakness, and knowing only how to dribble a ball is a threat. But what about the opportunities and strengths. A strength to a young Black male may be something we never knew we had, and opportunities are all around us. I live in New York City, being a photographer, you have the city in your hands to do as you please artistically. That is an endless opportunity. But with the same trends headed in the direction its headed, Black women, who have already outgrown us in education and jobs, will be even further. They don’t have a hoop dream because female athletes don’t get big money. 


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

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MONEY WOES: WHY ATHLETES MAKE A LOT OF MONEY AND GO BROKE

Coins Inside Jar

“Why they lose it all.”


new money

When you are a young male coming from an impoverished environment or even coming from the middle class, you have all these dreams in regards to money. Buying this lavish home and living a life that you never thought you would be living. but then it happens, and all of a sudden you can afford that house. You can now go out and buy that lavish car and those clothes you looked at through windows. But there is a catch to all this money, and that is it does not last forever. So you have to spend wisely and also pay your bills on top of that as well. Red and Brown Floral Stair Carpet

when the game is over

As the game passes you by and it’s time to move on to the next thing, now what? You have been spending so much money that you forgot about the end nearing. So here you are, broke with nothing to your name. A place where so many athletes have found themselves once they retire from the league. You are destitute and scrambling for answers as to what you will do to generate an income. And this is where you notice athletes make even more vital mistakes. They start dumping money into ideas that fall apart even quicker than spending. But see, there has to be more that meets the eye. All of them can’t be spending excessively.

reality versus fiction

When you see guys going pro, it means that they are overnight millionaires, wrong. Most of them are name you will never know who make around $500,000 per year before taxes. And their careers are on average 3 years long. So when you hear that someone made $1.5 million over 3 years, that is a lot relative to the average American. But when you factor in the fact that you have to make that money stretch after the league and taken into consideration the money you lived off of while playing, it’s not much. $1.5 million minus taxes equals about $800,000 with the average home around $250,000. $550,000 after 3 years is way less, and you’re talking working a regular nine to five. Because you’re retired, but you can’t retire fully off the money you have made.

big money go broke as well

Here is a level that is difficult to comprehend when athletes go broke. It is the level where guys are making over their career $50 million, $100 million, or even $200 million. How in the world do they go broke? And the reason is taking care of others, bad investments, and not watching their finances. They live a lifestyle that billionaires don’t even live. Taking care of multiple people who are not bringing in incomes can run up a bill as well. So it all falls apart eventually.


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

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ROLE MODELS: WHY WE PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON ATHLETES

 

Nfl Stadium Field Full With Crowd Watching the Game during Daytime

“Role models, really?”


the chosen ones

For the longest, athletes have been seen as these role models, especially to a younger generation. But what happens when the onus is on the athlete to raise the children of society. Because that is what being a person who is the athlete has become. It used to be people looked to politicians for the direction of a nation. Now people are looking to their entertainment as a means of productivity and raising children. And when you look at the mental issues of people in the public eye, it’s no wonder a society has them as well. But in my opinion, being a role model and mirroring your life after another person is different. But why so much pressure?

vintage americans

Elvis, was a role model, as was the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra. How about the athletes like Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath. But they were not expected to raise people’s children. These guys partied, drank, had women, some guys even did drugs. But American didn’t care because everyone had their own existence. Now, we look at these men and say how they don’t carry themselves as role models like the guys in the past. When in reality, guys today carry themselves better now because there is such a spotlight on them. So for me there seems to be this much needed use of oversight into the households of so many in today’s society that was not needed in the past.

money means a lot

I bought something that was yours, so now I can do whatever. This mentality that I bought a t-shirt, that gives me a piece of real estate over you. But that mind frame is very selective in society. Because we contribute to a lot of stuff that we would never think to just walk up to a politician and snap a photo. And we are the people who personally elect them to office. We also throw vast amounts of money into brands, and if we see the CEO who runs the company, we wouldn’t dare approach them with ridiculous behavior making demands. There is a comfort that people have with one we wouldn’t dare with the other.

no self control, no home control

People don’t have a lot of control in their own lives, so this is their control. They know that sports and entertainment will fold when they get upset, so we place these labels like role model on them. We can’t connect to our children, so the best way to connect is buying them more toys. But the reality is that parents want television to raise children and also want some form of control because they don’t have life control.


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

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SHOW ME THE MONEY: WILL SPORTS CONTRACTS GET BIGGER IN THE FUTURE

Person Signing Paper

“Give me some money.”


the big bucks

In my lifetime I have heard of some pretty major contracts to play professional sports. Kobe Bryant signing his $126 million contract, Floyd Mayweather, Tiger Woods, and Formula One driver Michael Shumacher all earning $100 million in a year, David Beckham coming to play soccer for Los Angeles Galaxy for $50 million per year, and who could forget Alex Rodriguez contracts with the Texas Rangers, $252 million and the Yankees, $275 million. But my question is how will the contracts change over time. Because athletes are actually underpaid if you look relative to what they make the brands they represent. Meaning the average American is paid a percentage of their value to their organization. If athletes were paid their percent there would already be $500 million if not $1 billion contracts.

if not for the past

Believe it or not, Michael Jordan’s biggest contract was about $30 million when he played in the NBA. Which at the time was big money, but since then guys are making that in a year. But the past players were the legends of the game who paved the way, some of which are broke today. Why, well some made poor financial decisions, and others didn’t make the big money guys make today. As a matter of fact, when you go back to the 1960’s and 1970’s, a lot of known players had side jobs to make ends meet. And receiving a $250,000 contract was big money at the time.

endorsements are king

The endorsements is where the big dollars are in sports. Getting a contract is fine and all, but the business partnerships these men make are staggering. Most of the big names in sports are with either Nike or ADIDAS. And then you have the guys like Stephen Curry with Under Armour. But making money through brands outside the sport is how you can make money like Tiger Woods $100 million a year at his height with Nike. He’s not making that golfing, but Nike has the finances to pay. Why, well there is no real salary cap for athletes with endorsements. So in all, you will see contracts grow because a $100 million contract is becoming normal in today’s society. It’s only a matter of time before we see $500 million.


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

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HOOP DREAMS: WHY SO MANY NEVER MAKE IT

Gathering Football Players

“You’re just not good enough.”


the dream

As a young boy growing up, we have all had these visions of ourselves becoming a top athlete in sports. But somewhere in our lives reality sets in and you know that your life is not going to head into the direction of sports. But there are those few that do get the chance to play. Only problem is that these people are very few and far between. And that’s just making it to the league, not to mention the average career is only 3 – 5 years. So making it to the 10 year or even 15 plus years career is even more rare. So why do so many think they will make it all the way.

draft day

And the number one pick of the draft, the _______ select ________ of _______ university. We all would love to hear our names called on draft day, but it’s just not real. If there was a draft day for the average jog, then it would be more real. And the number one pick of the fast food draft the McDonald’s in New York select Faheem Jackson of Parkside University. This is more real than the professional sports picks. We can connect more with the Average Joe than the athlete.

more than skills

You can run , jump, hit, shoot, and swing, but you don’t have the personality to withstand the pressure. You have so many great athletes that can make the league physically, but mentally they are not present in the moment. So many young men make the leagues, make millions and screw it up. And society can’t understand why, but it’s who they are, they don’t change overnight. If they were broken in life prior, but now they are better. No, you need years, but have to change in a matter of days or weeks. They don’t have that ability to screw up like the past because there is such a spotlight on them. So, so many don’t make it because of themselves personally not athletically.


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

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AFTER THE LIGHTS: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THEY RETIRE

 

Football Players in Blue Jersey Lined Under Grey White Cloudy Sky during Sunset

“What do they do now?”


athletic retirement

We watch, they play, we celebrate; but what happens when it all goes away? Eventually, when they put up the cleats and sneakers they will go into retirement. And when that happens what are they to do? Most of them are names of people we will never remember. And their careers on average don’t span the amount of time that the top guys last. They make up the average career which is three to five years. And they make the average salary which is $500,000 to $1 million. And that is money that is after taxes, so they make the most they will ever make in less than half a decade. Most of them will tell you that they have hard times, not just financially but emotionally after the game.

first day off

So it’s your first day off of work from retirement, what do you do? Usually, these guys go to the gym to stay in shape for them to play their sport. But since they don’t have to do so anymore, then why not take this day to lounge. But eventually lounging gets old, and they get bored. What about going out to play some rounds of golf, but this also soon proves to be boring. Now, when you get drafted into sports at the age of 22 or 23 years and you’ve played in the league and are now 25 to age 30, what do you do? Your friends you grew up with are just starting life, and you have already retired. Your motivation and depression can set in, and now you feel useless.

reaching for relevance

When you were on top of the world, it is a feeling that no one who is in another position can imagine. Then it all goes away and you need to do something to feel that void. Some people try holding on longer in their career, some become sportscasters, and others reality television. But this can sometimes backfire against you and ruin whatever legacy you have worked to create for yourself. So be sure to not negatively effect that in the process.

broke

We have all heard the stories and seen the outcomes. Athletes who after their playing days have become broke. And so many become broke because they don’t have the money coming in to sustain the life anymore. So now they must make a decision regarding their lives. And this where so many retired athletes go broke because investing in their futures never crossed their minds and the ones that do lose money. ESPN has done a docu series 30 for 30 on going broke. Long after playing days of making big bucks, athlete lives go in shambles. And it all falls apart the day they say I quit.


My Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

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