39 year old, Cleveland native, Benedictine High School graduate, Rich Paul, mastered his craft with true ingenuity and hard work. Nobody handed Rich Paul anything he is truly self made. Today Rich Paul, founder of Klutch Sports Group, represents over 30 clients, such as Anthony Davis, Eric Bledsoe, John Wall, Ben Simmons, Draymond Green and arguably one of the greatest basketball players to step on a NBA court LeBron James just to name a few. You would think with the talent that Rich Paul represents that if Rich Paul came knocking on your door to represent you that you would answer, but according to Rich Paul that is not the case mainly because of the color of his skin.
Recently Rich Paul spoke with The New Yorker about the reality of being a black man in majority white profession and how significant a role race plays when he goes to knock on a white players door, they just don’t answer. As a matter of fact of his 30 clients only 1 is white.
“It’s very difficult for me to represent a white player,” “It just is. Look around. There’s very few. I represent a player from Bosnia. But, again, he’s international. He looks at it different.” “So white players who are American don’t want a Black agent?” “They’ll never say that, but they don’t. I think there’s always going to be that cloud over America.”
Even crazier then that Rich Paul say’s that race stigma resonates with some black players as well, saying that historically since there weren’t/aren’t many black agents most feel more comfortable putting their fate in the hands of a white coach opposed to someone that looks like them.
Rich Paul also talked the other elephant hurdle that is/was in the room, the media that came for Team James when he made “The Decision” on live television back in 2010, the dawning of social media gives us news in real time. In 2010 “The Decision” on live television was unheard of, but know in 2021 it is in-fact the norm. Rich Paul believes that had LeBron James been a white player in 2010 that announced his decision to go to another team the backlash in the media itself would have been totally different.
Read Complete Rich Paul article in The New Yorker ‘LeBron James’s Agent Is Transforming the Business of Basketball’ HERE However just like anything else you have naysayers such as in the video below. But more importantly, what are your thoughts?