July 5, 2022

Ice Cube Partners With NFL To Increase Black Wealth

The National Football League has announced its partnership with Ice Cube’s Contract With Black America Institute (CWBA) to support Black-owned businesses and increase diversity amongst NFL vendors. In addition, the partnership aims to boost the economic equity within Black communities by tackling the wealth gap and offering various opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors.

The CWBA was launched in 2020 by rapper, actor, and filmmaker Ice Cube, alongside his business partner and entertainment lawyer, Jeff Kwatinetz, and works to address the systemic racism in the sports industry. In addition, the organization aims to address hard conversations around race and tackle the growing underrepresentation of young Black people in youth sports.

According to a report by ESPN, the partnership will primarily focus on “identifying league-wide opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors, with a concentration on increasing direct and indirect spending to national Black businesses to help close America’s racial and economic wealth gap.”

There is currently a solid internal commitment to diversify the NFL’s partnerships with organizations like CWBA. The league is allocating $125 million to Black-owned and operated businesses such as Ariel Investments, City First/Broadway Bank, Cover Communications, and Fearless Technology.

“I’m glad the NFL stepped up,” said Ice Cube, founder of the CWBA Institute, in an interview with ESPN. “They’re the biggest and most powerful and most influential to other Fortune 500 companies. So, we want to get them to lead the charge.

“They’ve already allocated and spent up to $125 million. So, we want that to turn into $500 million, maybe a billion, and then move on to other leagues and hopefully other companies like Nike and the big boys and tell them to try to adopt the same thing.”

In 2019, the NFL was criticized for its response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality. Shortly after, the league launched a social justice initiative called Inspire Change to amend their wrongdoings. Their recent partnership with Ice Cube marks the company’s continued effort to support Black talent.

“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a press release.

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.