A recent FORBES ranking shows that despite the real and perceived advances in the last generation, 10 of the 20 wealthiest African-Americans have a strong relationship to sports, either as a player or an owner. Oprah Winfrey, as expected, leads the list by a long shot, garnering $2.7 billion through shrewd investment and media moguling.
(”I could buy and sell you with my Dr. Phil profits alone”)
However, Tiger Woods follows at $600 million and growing. From there, Robert Johnson (Charlotte Bobcats owner) and Michael Jordan (Bobcats president) lead a procession that implies the best way to become a wealthy black man is still to hit the gym or own one.
Magic Johnson follows just behind MJ on the list. Sheila Johnson (Robert’s ex-wife) owns part of the Washington Capitals and Wizards and is the managing partner of the Mystics. Everyone above this point is worth at least $400 million.
From there, Don King (at $290 million) begins a second tier of sports-related African-American rich. Following him comes Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr. (a former NBA player on the other half of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar trade who made his millions on Wendy’s and Chili’s franchises), Jay-Z (part Nets owner), Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal.
That’s fully half of the top twenty listed. Six are athletes by initial trade and Don King made his money off athletes. Robert and Sheila made their bones on BET, but they both invested in sports teams heavily as did Jay-Z.