Ep 49 – Don’t Hate The Playa: Black Athletes, Activism, Agency and Ownership

On this episode of Broke-ish, Amber and Erika are discussing Black Athletes – the challenges faced at the highly competitive collegiate level, the impact on mental and physical wellness, finances, and of course, the increasing social and political activism in and out of the sports arena. Joined by Jarrett Drake and Destanie Sykes, two former NCAA Division I athletes, who provide a firsthand account of the unique ways Black collegiate athletes are commodified and expected to produce without the benefit of ownership or monetary compensation. They also offer their insight into why so many professional athletes are leveraging their influence in support of political causes and as social justice advocates. Take a listen to the episode to hear what we’re talking about!


  1. Watch ‘Dear Black Athlete’ examines issues of race and sports in this moment of protestPass the episode along to your friends.
  2. Give us your thoughts on the latest developments around athletes and their ability to profit from their skills and likenesses.


Under Fire, The NCAA Apologizes And Unveils New Weight Room For Women’s Tournament
Author:  Becky Sullivan – npr.org
Date: Mar 20, 2021

Everything you need to know about the NCAA’s NIL debate
Author:  Dan Murphy – espn.com 
Date: 2021

Here are some of the ways NCAA athletes are embracing the new world of the ‘NIL’ deal
Author: Douglas S. Wood and David Close
Date: July 4, 2021

Guest Info:

Destanie Sykes
Instagram: @realtordlsykes

Jarrett Martin
Instagram: @jmddrake

More about Destanie Sykes

As a Dallas native, Destanie Sykes takes tremendous pride in her city. No city in the world compares to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and she is so excited to be a part of it yet again. With Division I college basketball, a New York City modeling career, a Master’s degree in education, and seven amazing years of traveling the world under her belt, she decided to come home.

Destanie currently works as a Realtor and Real Estate Coach. In her first year as a full-time agent, not only did she exceed expected company dollar in just 17 transactions, but she was also named Rookie of the Year in her MLS area. She has experience in residential and commercial and specializes in first time home buyers and investors. Destanie is an IGNITE graduate, BOLD graduate, and Train the Presenter attendee.

Destanie’s involvement in the community has helped her to land the title as of President her HOA, which includes a total clean up and reinvestment in South Dallas. These efforts include building alliances with neighbors, local churches, politicians, builders, investors, and the City of Dallas. Other community efforts include working with charitable organizations such as the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the Duncanville Education Foundation, and Girls Inc.

More about Jarrett Martin
Jarrett Martin Drake is a Ph.D. candidate in social anthropology at Harvard University, where he engages in a variety of archival, educational, and organizing projects that pertain to prison abolition. Outside of Harvard, Drake facilitates workshops with grassroots organizations around topics such as liberatory memory work and digital archives. Prior to Harvard, Drake was the Digital Archivist at Princeton University as well as an advisory archivist for A People’s Archives of Police Violence in Cleveland. During his time at Princeton, he volunteered as an instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory writing and introductory college composition. Drake earned an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Michigan School of Information, where he worked at the Bentley Historical Library and the Special Collections Library. Before Michigan, Drake earned a B.A. in History from Yale University, where he worked at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library as well as the Manuscripts & Archives Division of Sterling Memorial Library. In between Michigan and Yale, Drake labored on the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland initiative at the Maryland State Archives.

Drake was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, where he graduated from The Benjamin Banneker Achievement Center.

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