If you’ve watched any documentary about the sports stars of yesteryear, you’ll learn that a lot of fallen on hard times.
Some leagues do terrible jobs at taking care of the former players that took the branding to new heights, but BIG3 wants to change that all too familiar narrative. The league has Ice Cube as an owner, a Black Commissioner in Clyde Drexler, a woman Chairperson in Amy Trask, and a board that includes Chauncey Billups and Jermaine O’Neal. So, the league’s top brass also takes social injustices very seriously and even put together actionable items to achieve their ultimate goal of doing what’s right.
“A sad truth is many athletes are discarded and forgotten after their limited years entertaining and playing for American fans and find themselves without a foundation for their futures. Once revered, these players are returned to the racist institutions of our nation that hamper future opportunities beyond basketball. As you know, a shockingly high percentage of former NBA and WNBA players eventually face financial, psychological, and a host of other struggles. Our players DESERVE a second act,” reads the press release.
As previously reported, George Floyd was a dear friend of former NBA player Stephen Jackson who plays in the BIG3 and is also a coach, so the current racial unrest in the country has hit close to home.
A few of the initiatives include offering funds and business consultants to ex-players for new business ventures, education, charitable endeavors, and assistance in post-career lives. The league will even offer retired players life counselors, medical support, substance abuse counselors, and job and education placement services. And for the kids, they’ll be youth outreach in all cities that the BIG3 visits.
“Enough talk: here is a chance for us to make a difference for ex-players for the next century. Let us plant a tree together; we can start TODAY,” ends the press release.
It’s safe to say Ice Cube is playing no games about spearheading the change needed in the culture of basketball beyond the hardwood.