While in Indian Wells, the PTPA hosted players for a sports & entertainment thought-leadership panel featuring Chamillionaire, Grammy Award-winning rapper and prominent investor; Jacquelyn Dahl, founder and CEO of 1UP Sports Marketing and marketing agent for Patrick Mahomes and Alex Morgan; Nneka Ogwumike, power forward for the Los Angeles Sparks and President of the WNBA Players Association; Jalen Rose, NBA legend and ESPN studio analyst; and Aly Wagner, US Women’s National Team legend and broadcaster for CBS Sports and Fox Sports. The panel conversation touched on athlete empowerment, the power of player associations, athletes’ opportunities to impact the trajectory of the business of sports, and much more.
Here are 10 of the best moments from the enlightening panel discussion. Be sure to follow the PTPA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more behind-the-scenes moments from the event.
- Nneka Ogwumike on athletes pushing the sport forward: “One thing that I think really drives the league for us is it’s incredibly player led and it’s incredibly player collaborative… There are so many different things [we can address] just by listening, and being a collective, and working to raise everybody’s status in the league – and us being able to do that as a group is even more powerful.”
- Chamillionaire on athletes building relationships: “Right now, everybody is telling you that while you’re on the top of the charts, while you’re on the top of the court, while you’re on the TV that that’s the opportunity. But I think what that does is intimidate the 99% of the 1% – the people that aren’t Lebron [James]. They feel like it’s only reserved for those other people…but the truth is, you can unlock the value add that you have for all these companies that have opportunity.”
- Jacquelyn Dahl on athletes creating a legacy for future generations: “You have to have women who are going to put their necks out for the rest of the girls. [For example], Alex Morgan is at the forefront of equal pay, and if she’s not doing it, nobody will.”
- Aly Wagner on players coming together to create change: “I’m thinking back to the recent CBA negotiation that happened with US Soccer with the men and the women – it was actually the first time that the two sides of our organization came together to get something done. And you go back in history, and we should’ve been talking sooner, we should’ve been talking louder, we should’ve used that collective energy to get things done earlier…that’s a really good thing for you guys to think about, how you guys can unify and affect the change you want to see happen.”
- Jalen Rose on unity in sport: “In tennis for example, there is an opportunity for these athletes to take their visibility and use social media and use their voices and come together and create that fist of power, [so] now you can actually drive change.”
- Nneka Ogwumike on players associations empowering athletes: “The PTPA, for them to put this together and have this panel, is putting players in an [advantageous] position and is already putting you ahead. It’s remarkable to be a part of this, and I am very grateful to be part of a PA as well that is working to do this for its players because at the end of the day we have to feed ourselves in order for us to have a seat at the table.”
- Chamillionaire on athletes preparing for the future: “You have to be really big on building relationships and information… The best example I would use is it’s almost like you’re planting seeds, and right now I’ve planted a whole bunch of seeds outside of the rap career, and then now, once I’m not doing the rap thing, some of those seeds have grown into a tree that’s feeding my family. So if you’re not planting seeds while you’re in the moment, while you’re hot, while everybody’s paying attention, then you’ll regret that later on.”
- Jalen Rose on athletes setting themselves, and their sport, up for longer-term success: “I quote the great American philosopher Rick Ross. He said, ‘Appreciate your position while plotting your promotion.’ So while you’re playing, you have to be figuring out how you can leverage [those relationships].”
- Jacquelyn Dahl on athletes speaking out to better their sport: “Yes they’re doing these things on social media and doing these things on the field, but there’s real action happening behind the scenes. They’re in the meetings with FIFA, they’re in the meetings with their union, so this isn’t just all for show.”
- Nneka Ogwumike on players collaborating across the league: “As president [of the WNBPA] one thing I love the most is the relationships I’ve developed amongst all of the players…so that we can move this league forward the way they deserve and the way that we envision it.”