She wants to make sure Black girls have representation!
NCAA gymnast champion Derrian Gobourne is set to launch her “Black Girl Magic” NFT collection, Forbes reports.
Gobourne is one of Auburn University’s finest gymnasts, racking up wins as the 2019 NCAA national champion, 1st Team All-American and 3-time All-SEC gymnast. Now, the college athlete has announced her next win, a special NFT collection honoring Black women gymnasts in partnership with Legacy League, a platform that touts itself as “the premiere sports NFT exchange for college athletes and universities.”
“I am excited to launch my Black Girl Magic NFT Collection on the Legacy League platform. Not only do their values align with mine, there is no better time to do it. It's time to celebrate, congratulate and pay honor and tribute to all of my sisters who have given so much to this sport and I want the world to see them,” said Gobourne.
The college superstar said she was inspired by her own experiences growing up, noting that she never really saw anyone that looked like her doing gymnastics as a young girl. Her collection will feature herself alongside other Black women gymnasts including Auburn athletes Ananda Brown, Jada Glen and Aria Brusch, Rutgers University’s Hannah Joyner, Amari Celestine from Mizzou, UCLA’s Sekai Wright and Stanford’s Kyla Bryant.
The collection is an NIL deal Gobourne said she thought should include other Black women athletes, mainly because they all have similar stories. Knowing that all of the girls said yes and are coming together is something that Gobourne said makes her feel comforted.
“I…wanted to give other Black athletes an opportunity to do NIL deals and just give them opportunity to spread their light and their story…It’s just very comforting knowing that I have so many other beautiful Black gymnasts backing me up. We all have very similar stories and similar paths, and I just think it’s great to have other girls to lean back on…I want other people that look like me to have opportunities. I feel like that was really my main point in really doing all of this and kind of collabing was just to get them out there too. I want them to be heard. I want them to be seen,” explained Gobourne.
Ed James, Gobourne’s agent, spoke about the significance of NIL deals for Black student athletes.
“The NIL ecosystem has created an opportunity, not just for athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness, but it has created a vehicle for student-athletes of color to diversify their portfolios and create streams of income past their collegiate careers. Due to institutional inequities many Black and brown scholar athletes, even the ones on full scholarship, often feel pressured to take out loans to send money back home to their family members who are depending on them. We worked to create Black Girl Magic to bring parity, visibility, and economic justice to a group of young ladies who are becoming the CEOs of their own empires one NFT at a time,” said James.
Legacy League co-founder Kurt Hallead explained why it was important for their brand to align with women athletes like Gobourne, announcing she’d also be working with the company on a number of DEI initiatives.
“At a time when female student athletes lag behind their male counterparts in the NIL ecosystem, we are excited to partner with Derrian. Our collaboration will extend beyond NFTs as Derrian will also serve as our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ambassador. In this capacity, she will drive engagement with underrepresented athletes across the country as we continue our mission to help every college athlete leave their legacy in the collegiate sports metaverse,” Hallead said.
For Gobourne, it’s all exciting and she hopes to spread just a little bit more magic in the world through this collection. She wants other little Black girls to have what she didn’t have, representation of others who look like them in the sport. Embodying that, to Gobourne, is what Black girl magic is all about.
“Black girl magic is just stepping into who you are, and not letting anybody tell you that you need to look like this to be successful. You need to do it this way. Just stepping into who you are. Yes, I am different, and I love that. That’s what makes me stand out,” she said.
The “Black Girl Magic” NFT collection is set to launch in the coming months. Congratulations, Derrian!
Photo Courtesy of Derrian Gobourne/Auburn Gymnastics/Instagram