Why Billionaire Investor Robert F. Smith Should be the First African American NFL Owner

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    Robert F Smith NFL Owner

    This is a powerful argument!

    By: N. Reid

    With racial tensions flaring across America and the NFL embroiled in a bitter spat with the U.S. President over players protesting racial injustice during the national anthem, billionaire investor Robert F. Smith is on the verge of making history by becoming the first African-American NFL team owner. Smith’s sights are firmly set on the league at a time when it has also been criticized for a lack of diversity at various levels, from the quarterback position, to head coaches, and team owners.

    As the first black NFL team owner, not only will Smith stand with the players when the National Anthem plays, but he’ll back up his actions by continuing to be a positive influence in the African American community by donating his time and resources to organizations and institutions that are focused on the betterment of black people. Focus and resources are something that Smith has plenty of, if his $2.5 billion fortune is anything to go by. He’s now the second wealthiest African-American behind Oprah Winfrey.

    Is success ingrained in his DNA? It’s likely.

    Smith was raised in a middle-class family in Denver – the son of Dr. William Robert Smith and Dr. Sylvia Myma Smith, both of whom were school teachers with PhDs. As a high school junior, Smith desperately tried to get his foot in the door to work an internship at the Colorado development company, Bell Labs. The position was tailored for college students but Smith had the drive and determination that even after being initially rejected, the bigwigs at Bell Labs hired him. He has come a long way since that first unpaid position.

    Little was known about him for many years. He was never one to plaster his face on every magazine to boast about his accomplishments. In fact, the website for Vista Equity Partners doesn’t even include a picture of his face. He wanted to prove his abilities first before investors and executives could judge him for the color of his skin. His plan worked, and his firm has earned him billions.

    A few African Americans have tried and failed to acquire NFL teams. However, there’s nothing stopping Smith from making his dream come to fruition. Owning an NFL franchise just may be his greatest investment to date. However, it won’t be the pinnacle of his career – Smith is just getting started. With his devotion to maintaining the glue that holds the African American community together, seeing Smith in a stadium’s owner’s box on a Sunday afternoon is something the league and America so desperately needs. It would be a sign that our nation, the land of freedom and opportunities, isn’t just reserved for those who have a certain shade of skin.

    What sets Smith apart from other financial leaders across the globe is his penchant for helping others. In 2017, he was named one of the “Philanthropy 50” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. And in May 2017, The Giving Pledge announced he had joined its ranks as the only African American philanthropist. When the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was looking for donations, they were told to reach out to Smith. They had no clue who he was at the time, but now he’s known as the entrepreneur who gave them their second-largest donation worth $20 million.

    His contributions continue year after year, including a $50 million donation to his alma mater, Cornell University. His unparalleled generosity prompted the college to have the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering renamed in his honor.

    Preserving the African-American experience is one of his main goals, and he’s able to hone in on that interest and several more; including entrepreneurship, the environment, and human rights as the founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation. The nonprofit makes grants to public charities that safeguard human dignity, improve environmental conservation, provide outdoor education, and sustain the American values of empowerment and innovation.

    The time for a black NFL owner is now, and there’s no better prospect than Smith.

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    29 COMMENTS

    1. While he would be a great candidate to be an NFL owner, why would he want to invest in a league filled with so much turmoil (unhappy fans, protesting players, fighting between owners and the union, CTE lawsuits now and the future). Also, a great candidate but not the ideal candidate. Why? There is a difference between someone who has $2 million dollars (Mr. Smith) and someone who has $20 millions (the other owners). At $2.5 B, he would be at the same level as the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers ownership. Those two are pauper teams compared to the other ownerships and he would be the third. Who wants that? Also, any team sold now would probably go for $2.5B. He would have to get huge loans and other investors who would want a piece of the ownership. Mr. Smith would have to pour it all into the team and that’s risky AND why should he. Now if he had 4 or 5 billions, then yes.

      • The NFL will not last much longer. In twenty years, I believe the NFL will suffer the same fate as the XFL. The extremely low attendance at the stadiums proves my point.

        • Bwahahahaha. You gotta be kidding. It is by fair the #1 money maker in all of entertainment and sports. It’s going nowhere.

          And as for these “empty stadiums,” have you ever tried to buy a ticket for a Broncos game? Pats? Cardinals? Cowboys? Steelers? Packers? Vikings? Seahawks?

          Sure there are a handful of franchises which are not sold out in season tickets, but they are few and far between. I have a friend in Denver and his lifelong dream is just to see one Broncos game in person. No one can get a ticket(unless they can pay like $1,000 for a $50 ticket.

    2. Scorp, don’t bother with the negative comments, but to answer your question yes!

      This dude is either the new owner or a major financial contributor to this site…because everytime ANYONE says anything negative they remove it…but yet they want to continue to try to shove stories about him down our throats!

      Last time they shut the comments off completely.

      • I remember. I said some cracking things about his beloved and to my horror they were removed. Oh well. How come they didn’t include a full frontal of her? I’d like to know what she is working with in order to hook a bazillionaire like him.

    3. Black people, we need to stop investing our time and money into businesses we don’t own. Read the book “Black Labor White Wealth” by Dr. Claude Anderson. Racist white men are becoming billionaires off of black physical labor. Instead of owning a NFL team, rich black men like Robert Smith should do like Ice Cube and form his own football/basketball/baseball league. #BlackOwnedBlackMoney

    4. His contributions continue year after year, including a $50 million donation to his alma mater, Cornell University.”

      So this black man donated $50 million dollars to Cornell (Ivy League University)? Has he donated any money to the historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s)?

      • Hmmm, that’s not fair. That’s like saying “donate to your alma mater, but if you are black, donate to an HBCU school as well. You should identify with your college based on academic connections, not race. He can donate to some HBCU schools but not because he’s black. At least he’s guaranteed to get some honorary doctorates. Bill Cosby is a Temple grad but he supported HBCU schools though I don’t know if he gave financially to them.

      • Oh fucking pleas NBA. You are completely nuts. I am sure he has given more money than the average person will see in a lifetime to each and every black university.

        But rich men always give a fortune to their alma mater. It’s part of becoming immortal.

        The Robert Smith School of Business <<<<< this will probably be a future reality at Cornell.

        • Before Robert Smith was a Cornell alumni, he was black. Therefore he should donate to the Historically black Colleges.

    5. HSK editorial staff: While I don’t think that Mr. Smith “owns” or has even heard of this site(as stated above) I for one would like to applaud the fact that you have chosen to eschew ugly, non-productive comments about him and his family. There are precious few AAs in his echelon in the US today, and we need to honor them—and hold them on high as the successes they are!

      Seriously, the fact that the sad misanthropes who comment here can think no further than to trash him because of who he chose to marry says much more about them than it does about his wife. Joos uplift there own/Asians uplift their own/Hispanics uplift their own.

      Angry low information black folk love nothing more than tearing don those they are envious of.

        • I never said that he or the upper echelons should be an NFL team. I merely said that black success stories should be celebrated rather than torn apart.
          Well, unless thy are a drug dealer or arms dealer.

          But I get it now, those who are have-nots can not stand the haves. It doesn’t matter if it’s Jay and Bey, Oprah, Robert Smith, Bob Johnson, or Dr. Dre.

          They are all hated and attacked here. If this were not a black site, that would be seen as racist if a white person was doing the attacking.

          This is the last I’ll say, because I know my opinion is unwanted, but here goes: most of you are destined to stay in a cycle of hate because of your outlooks. It’s true.
          I always looked up to those who succeeded and tried to figure out how to mimic their dedication and determination. I was never the dog in the manger.

          25 years later, while I am far from a Robert Smith or an Oprah, I am in the top 3%.
          And attitude has more to do with it than you all think.
          Calling people like me a coon, is a way of justifying your own apathy.

          #do better folks

      • What makes you think this person is above reproach? Because he has $?

        Oprah is worth more than this clown and they tear her down on here every chance they get, fuckwad…

        The point is I have never seen any other person on here ONLY have POSITIVE stories posted on them with NOTHING negative ever said or allowed to be said and be absolutely praised for nothing in this case, so much on a site who denigrates every other “famous &/or rich” black person.

        Which is complete and utter bullshit.

        If you are a gossip site who talks shit about EVERYONE else, this person should be no exception, unless this site is now his or is being funded by him. Those are the ONLY two ways any of this makes sense, unless you are a blind, stupid idiot…like yourself.

          • Out of everything written that is the only point you could come up with?

            Please STFU…for being the biggest idiot on here.

    6. And for this to be the only fool to always get a positive story posted amidst all this fuckery is some straight up BS…

      Every person on this earth has some skeletons.

      Since you all are so eager to post everyone else’s his should be posted too.

    7. For all of you morons talking about the NFL won’t last because of poor stadium attendance, you ever heard of TV Contracts.

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