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4 Highest-Paid Black Athletes in the World

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The recent issue of Forbes’ top ten highest-earning sportsmen saw an unusual mix of renowned sports icons and rookies whose hard work and skills won them a spot on the prestigious listicle.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia topped the list with an estimated earnings of $136 million. Lionel Messi ($130) of PSG was the second highest-earning athlete, with Kylian Mbappe coming in third with an estimated earnings of $120 million.

The athletes’ on-field earnings were computed by Forbes using all prize money, salaries, and bonuses earned between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023. Based on interviews with industry insiders, the off-field earnings include an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and memorabilia, as well as licensing money for the 12 months leading up to May 1, 2023, plus cash returns from any businesses managed by the sportsmen.

The four highest-earning black athletes in the world have a total net worth of $430 million.

Kylian Mbappe 

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With a total earnings of $120 million, Kylian Mbappe has surpassed LeBron James as the highest-earning black athlete in the world. According to a recently revealed Forbes list, the 24-year-old French footballer made his debut between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023.

For the 12 months leading up to May 1, 2023, the star footballer earned an estimated $20 million from off-field sources such as sponsorships, appearance fees, and licensing money, cementing his position as the world’s third highest-paid athlete.

Mbappe was born in Paris on December 20, 1998, to Fayza Lamari and Wilfred Mbappe, a French-Cameroonian coach and agent. He made headlines in the football world when he signed for Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 18 in 2017, and he later became the second-most expensive player and the most expensive teenage player in history, with a €180 million transfer fee.

Within a year, he rose from 35th to third place on the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. Mbappe also has the biggest salary in football, with a monthly remuneration of €4 million and a signing-on fee of almost €100 million.

He presently holds one World Cup championship and will compete in another World Cup Final in 2022. In June, Forbes named him the first player ambassador for Sorare, a cryptocurrency-based fantasy game.


LeBron James

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With an estimated net worth of 119.5 million, LeBron James is the world’s second highest-paid black athlete, according to Forbes. His total profits included $44.5 million in on-field revenue and $75 million in off-field revenue.

James is a Los Angeles Lakers basketball player and the first NBA player to become a billionaire, having a total net worth of $1 billion as of January 23, 2023. 2K Sports, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Blaze, Pizza PepsiCo, Walmart, Calm,, GMC, Nike, and RIMOWA are among the companies that have sponsored the 38-year-old athlete.

James, who was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, began playing basketball as a child. Basketball quickly became a way of life for him, and when he joined his primary school basketball team, he thrived.

James became the youngest individual ever to be named to the USA Today All-USA First Team while attending St Vincent-St Mary High School, and he was later voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

He was tipped as the next great thing in the NBA while still in high school, appearing on the covers of “SLAM” magazine and Sports Illustrated. As a result, it’s no wonder that he’s one of the NBA’s top stars, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The four-time NBA champion is also the founder of SpringHill Entertainment, which helped develop “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a film in which he appeared that grossed $163 million worldwide.

He has endorsement partnerships with McDonald’s, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin-Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, Samsung, and Nike, among others. James owns 1% of Beats by Dre; he received at least $1 million in royalties, and when the company was sold to Apple, he received a $30 million portion.

He entered the NBA draft in 2003 and was selected first overall by his local team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the course of four years, he earned $1.4 billion. After his contract expired, he signed a three-year, $60 million agreement with the Cavs before the 2007-2008 season. The contract extension increased his annual compensation for the 2009-2010 season from $5.8 million to $15.8 million.

He revealed his choice to join the Miami Heat in a dramatic broadcast in 2011, which reportedly raised $6 million for charity. He took $110 million over six years in Miami. After four years with The Heat, he returned to Cleveland before of the 2014-2015 season. After winning the NBA title in 2015, he signed a one-year contract that was then extended to three years. The three-year deal agreement is said to be worth $100 million, making him the NBA’s highest-paid player for the first time in his career.

Prior to the 2018-19 season, he switched from the Cavs to the Lakers. The contract was valued $153 million, with a salary of $38 million per year for four years. LeBron and the Lakers signed a two-year, $85 million deal extension in 2020, with him earning $42.5 million per year.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, James made over $126 million in salary and $326 million in endorsements during his first ten seasons in the NBA, bringing his total earnings during that time period to $452 million.


Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry | How Africa News
Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is third on the list with a net worth of $100.4 million, with on-field earnings of $48.4 million and off-field earnings of $52 million.

The Golden State Warriors’ 31-year-old athlete is sponsored by 2K Sports, Callaway, Golf, CarMax, FTX, Google, Panini, Rakuten, and Under Armour. His net worth is believed to be $170 million.

Wardell Stephen Curry II was born on March 14, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. Dell Curry, a successful NBA player, was the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Curry attended Queensway Christian College and played basketball there.

His NBA career began when he signed with the Golden State Warriors. Prior to that, he was a member of the Toronto 5-0, a team that competed against other clubs around Ontario, and he won the provincial title while on the team.

Curry went to Davidson College after high school and played for the Wildcats. In college, he became one of the NCAA’s leading scorers and set new three-pointer scoring records. With the Wildcats, he won his first NCAA Tournament in his second year.

Since 2011, the NBA player has been married to Ayesha Alexander, with whom he has three children. Curry routinely participates in celebrity golf tournaments and has played alongside Barack Obama, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He also supports Chelsea F.C. of the English Premier League.


Kevin Durant 

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The sportsman, 34, earned $89.1 million, which included $44.1 million in salary/winnings and $45 million in sponsorships. 2K Sports, Coinbase, Dapper Labs, Nike, and Weedmaps are among his sponsors. He is a basketball player for the Phoenix Suns with a net worth of $210 million.

Durant began his NBA career after being picked by the Seattle SuperSonics for the 2007 season. During the 2009-10 season, he was named to the first NBA All-Star Game and became the NBA’s youngest scoring champion with a point total of 30.1 points.

As his popularity on the court grew, so did his signing fees and sponsorship deals. Prior to the 2010-2011 season, he agreed to a five-year, $86 million contract extension with the Thunder. He left the Thunder in 2016 to join the Golden State Warriors, signing a two-year contract costing $54.3 million and a contract extension worth $61.5 million in 2018. In 2019, he inked a sign-and-trade agreement with the Brooklyn Nets.

Off the court, Durant has had a number of entrepreneurial successes. He has made $36 million via endorsement deals with brands such as Gatorade, Nike, Degree, and others, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

According to Sportico, Durant has earned $580 million in his career and will most certainly become a billionaire as an active player. So far, LeBron James is the only active NBA player to have become a billionaire.

According to Sportico, Durant is still owed approximately $85 million by Nike after his 10-year Swoosh contract expires in 2024.

Thirty-Five Ventures, his investment business, has made at least 75 investments, including microlender Acorns, the stock trading site Robinhood, the esports organization Andbox, and the cloud data management provider Rubric.

He recently achieved success with Coinbase and Postmates Delivery Rider. He spent $250,000 in 2017 and supposedly got $13.5 million when the company went public recently. In addition, Uber paid $2.65 billion for Postmates, valuing Durant’s investment at $15 million. Durant’s biggest financial commitment, according to Sportico, was his 5% investment in Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, which he purchased last year. The agreement also allows him to buy an additional 5%.

Written by How Africa News

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