With the NFL in its offseason, New England Patriots Safety Devin McCourty says he's focused on securing generational wealth for himself and other athletes through a new venture capital mission called Broad Street Ventures. Co-founded by Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints and Ralonda Johnson, current president of the organization, the group looks to educate athletes while helping them gain financially.
"For us, we wanted to create a vehicle that would allow Black and brown investors to learn about venture capital but also have access to some of the best deals in the tech and consumer space," Johnson told Cheddar.
McCourty said that his close friendship with Jenkins is what spawned his decision to invest with Broad Street Ventures.
"We played in an all-star game coming out of high school and we do a lot off-the-field things together, and I think from there he started to talk about a vision of having NFL players having access to a different kind of wealth," he said.
Both grew up in New Jersey before going on to their collegiate and professional careers.
For NFL players, unlike in some other sports like the NBA and Major League Baseball, contracts are not guaranteed, the average length of a career is significantly fewer years, and as a result, players often have to find other means to secure finances for their futures. McCourty said that Broad Street Ventures allows all athletes to learn about venture capital investing.
Ralonda Johnson added that the group provides information sessions where potential investors can not only learn the ropes but also about emerging technologies.
"Not everyone [who] attends may invest or not, but just so that they at least have an understanding of tech investing. We'll go over from seed through late stage, just as much information that we can give them," she said.
For McCourty, Broad Street Ventures presents an opportunity for professional athletes to change the perception that the general public may have of them. He said with this opportunity, sports figures aren't limited to just making plays on the field. They can invest and lift up areas and industries that they are passionate about, offering fans a closer look at the human and not just the athlete.