It was reported on Wednesday by multiple media outlets that former NBA All-star Chris Webber was the face of an investor group interested in buying the Atlanta Hawks. Webber could be the bright light shining through the dark cloud left by former Hawks' owner Bruce Levenson and the notorious email he sent out that started this whole process.
Webber has stayed pretty clean as far as trouble goes - other than the Michigan scandal, but Webber's ban from Michigan which began in 2003 ended last year - and he's done an excellent job on TNT as an analyst. Webber reportedly would only invest a "modest" amount, which means he may or may not be the actual majority owner, but reports say he will be the face of the investing group.
An article from fivethirtyeight.com detailed statistics on the demographics of the NFL, NBA and MLB. The article with the headline "Three leagues, 92 teams and one black principal owner" states as you move up the food chain, there are less and less black faces amongst the majority.
According to the article, 76 percent of the NBA's players are black (it says African American, which is an argument for another day). As you move up the chain of command the percentage decreases immensely. Only 43 percent of the coaches, 18 percent of the league's office staff and two percent of the majority owners are black.
It's even worse in the NFL and the MLB. Neither league has a majority black owner. Unless you count the face of the Los Angeles Dodgers' Magic Johnson, who is a part of a majority group, which is what Webber would probably be. The NBA's only majority black owner, Michael Jordan, just so happens to be the best player ever. Dominique Wilkins - another exceptional option to be a majority owner - is also reportedly interested in buying the Hawks.
Players, whether it's the NFL, NBA or MLB, make millions of dollars over the course of the their careers. The really good ones or at least the ones who have really good agents make hundreds of millions of dollars. What was always puzzling to me growing up was, why in each of these sports, more so with the NBA and NFL, weren't there more black owners?
I imagine that being an owner is not a position most of the black youth aspire to be in, which is a head-scratcher for me. Wouldn't you rather be the one calling the shots versus the one taking the orders? They'd rather be the next Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or Lebron James, because they see it so much. When you're listening to player interviews or reading about players, I've never heard one of them say, "I want to be the next Jerry Buss."
But, why? Is it because pretty much all they see growing up, is black players in the league or maybe coaching? Is it a dream too unrealistic?
If you add Webber or Wilkins to the fold of black majority owners or just two faces of separate franchises it could impact the lives of millions of young black kids. It could change their dreams or at least their perceptions of the heights that you can reach if you put the work in. Making the face of the Hawks' franchise a minority would be a wonderful move for the Hawks and the NBA.