There is only one female sports agent that solely represents an active player in the NBA, and her name is Danielle Cantor. And the player she represents? Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.
The Washington Post on Wednesday published a fascinating profile of Cantor, a partner in the D.C.-based sports agency F.A.M.E. whom Otto Porter Jr. called "fierce." And comments from Brogdon, the first player to sign directly with Cantor, about why he chose her give Bucks fans another reason to root for the popular reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.
"As a minority in this country, I think it’s important that you give other people that are overlooked or not given similar opportunities — you give them a chance, as well," said Brogdon. "I know what it feels like to be overlooked in the business or not be given credit or just not to given an opportunity.
"I thought it would be breaking the glass ceiling and we’d be doing something special together."
The article asserts that Brogdon’s progressive personality and scholarly background – he’s a University of Virginia graduate who also earned his master’s degree in public policy – made him a good fit for Cantor and her brand. It also reveals that Cantor’s partner, founder and CEO of F.A.M.E. David Falk, represents Greg Monroe, Brogdon’s Bucks teammate.
The rest of the Post story is definitely worth a read, delving into Cantor’s upbringing, approach and the adversity she’s had to overcome as a pioneer in the male-dominated sports agency world.
Even if fans of Brogdon had no idea he was the only NBA player whose agent is a woman, it probably doesn’t surprise them. The 24-year-old is highly conscious of social issues, and has become increasingly, thoughtfully outspoken about politics and racial inequality.
"I’m not surprised by what’s happening," Brogdon said during his Bucks Media Day interview with Jabari Parker on Monday, in the wake of Donald Trump’s controversial weekend comments about sports and national-anthem protests. "As far as the flag goes, it’s not like people are (protesting) for any ordinary reason. There is a huge meaning, a broad horizon to it. A lot of people are frustrated that nothing has changed from the time we learned it as kids until now.
"There's been a lot of bad going on with the oppression of colored folks and minorities, and it just all boils down to compassion – and that's what a lot of people lack in our country, is compassion for people's story. When you feel a chance to have compassion for another, empathy for another person and put yourself in their shoes, that pretty much puts them in a better place. Until then, we're not going to make any progress. Basically that's what it is."
Brogdon, who spent four years at UVA, which is located in Charlottesville, where a white nationalist rally turned violent in August, said he was "not surprised" by the incident or the comments made afterward by Trump.
"There are a lot of hateful things, a lot of racist things going around right now," Brogdon said. "I think it’s important for athletes to continue to speak out, to step up, to use their platform. As we continue to come together, unify, I think we can make progress. Everything starts at the top; we have to have a leader that wants to unify, that doesn’t want to pull people apart. If we don’t have a leader that is going to try to do that, then it is going to be tough.
"I think racism is something that is always going to exist, (but) there’s a lot of good people here; there are a lot of good people that live in the US. Not everyone is a bad person. I think it is important that people continue to step out and voice their opinions and demonstrate and protest and do whatever they have to do to see change happen."
Brogdon said the Bucks, as a team, have had discussions about what and how they plan to take a stand, to show unity, when their season begins in October. He said it was "admirable" that NBA superstars like LeBron James have spoken out about social injustice and activism.
"Those guys are using their platform to do good, to bring people together, to bring this country together, and people listen," Brogdon said. "I think it’s been amazing. I think what guys are doing in the NFL is amazing too. I think what people are doing, coming together, on both sides, of all colors – everybody is coming together. This is what we need at this time. I encourage more people to do it."
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.