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Former NFL Player Frank Gore Discusses His Debut Boxing Match on the All Boxes Checked Podcast

Former NFL running back Frank Gore sat down for an interview with All Boxes Checked Podcast, National Standard Abstract’s (NSA) new multimedia platform to discuss his career transition, family legacy, advice for pro athletes, and his outlook on the debut boxing match.

frank gore
Former NFL running back Frank Gore, above, will make his boxing debut against former NBA guard Deron Williams. Jose Pineiro/Showtime

Gore, a 16-year NFL veteran and potential Hall of Famer, is a living testament of what it takes to play on the field. Despite the numerous career obstacles and injuries, he ranks third in league history with 16,000 rushing yards. Although Gore has not announced his retirement, he opted not to play during the 2021 season to spend more with his family while exploring his odds with a new sport – boxing – swapping out his cleats for a pair of gloves.

Like many parents balancing a career while building a family legacy, the father of two shared an important decision that he had to make regarding his son’s career aspirations. Being the child of a high-profile athlete comes with many expectations and spectators. 

“Since he was like three or four years old, I knew that he wanted to play ball. As a dad, I never pushed him. I let him enjoy being a child. I knew when he got into high school  his junior year that was when I took him under my wing and let him start training with me,” said Frank Gore Sr. “Don’t try to be me, be the best you can be. He’s been doing it. I just want him to keep his head down and keep working his behind off. Keep having fun.” 

The father-son duo has trained rigorously for years alongside NFL players. Today, his eldest son and namesake, Gore Jr., is a running back for the University of Southern Mississippi. 

frank gore
Lynne Sladky/AP/Shutterstock (Gore Sr.); David E. Klutho (Gore Jr.)

“NFL All-Time Great Frank Gore has such an important voice that we wanted to feature on the All Boxed Checked Podcast because of who he is and what he represents. Frank has heart, persistence, respect for the game and his teammates.

His life experience resonates with so many Black fathers raising sons and doing their best to set the right example. As a father, I recognize the weight of responsibility we shoulder and how crucial it is to create a path that our children can follow to live responsibly and financially free. Our struggles may not be the same, but we share a common goal – legacy building,” said Osei Rubie, president and founder of National Standard Abstract

“Being part of a family that also works together can be challenging at times, especially with a parent-dynamic and societal pressure to follow in their footsteps. However, I would never trade the opportunity to work alongside my dad, mentor, and business partner because the experience is worthwhile.

In the six years since he started National Standard Abstract, we have collaborated on projects to build our communities and generational wealth. We plan to continually open more doors to help break the cycle of poverty holding many families from achieving financial security,” Nadir Rubie, a partner at National Standard Abstract.

frank gore

Although it remains unclear if or when Gore Sr. will return to the game, he is mentoring his 19-year-old son and hopes to do the same for the next generation of NFL players.

“Take it one day at a time. You’ve got to go out there and give it your all because the game can be taken from you. The NFL won’t be promised to you; I had to grind to get it. Don’t listen to anybody trying to judge you just because another man couldn’t do it. It’s all in you. Work your behind off, keep your head down, respect your elders, respect the guys that you’re on the field with, and respect the game. And you can go as far as you want,”  said Gore Sr.

On Saturday, December 18th, Gore Sr. will face former NBA point guard Deron Williams within the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, as the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury. According to Gore Sr., people will be surprised. 

Watch the “All Boxes Checked” interview with Frank here.

frank gore

About National Standard Abstract

National Standard Abstract is a full-service title insurance agency with expertise in faith-based developments, residential and commercial real estate transactions. Since launching in 2015, the family- and black-owned firm has closed over $1 billion in transactions within the New York metropolitan area. As the bridge to building one community at a time, National Standard Abstract expanded its footprint into philanthropy through the Osei Rubie Charitable Fund to help end racial inequity and support the organizations working on the ground to create real change.

About the All Boxes Checked Podcast

From commercial and residential real estate to financial investment and community empowerment, the All Boxes Checked podcast educates listeners on building wealth while circulating money within the Black community. Featured guests include business professionals and philanthropists to public officials and government agencies that will share their insights on the real estate and title insurance industries in addition to the growth of Black-owned businesses.

The All Boxed Checked Podcast is now available on all streaming platforms. 

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From The NFL To The Farm On a Mission To Combat Hunger

At age 26, Jason Brown signed a $37.5 million contract–one of the largest at the time for any NFL lineman. After the St. Louis Rams cut him from the team in 2012, Brown took a long, hard look in the mirror.

“God told me he had something greater in store for me.”

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Instead of fighting for a position on another team, Brown decided to walk away from it all. He moved his family from a mansion to an old farmhouse and he gave up material wealth to go into a hard industry he knew very little about.

That’s how First Fruits Farm had its beginning. First Fruits Farm is also a ministry, donating tons of produce to local food banks and shelters over the years.

“People tell me that I’m crazy, they downright tell me that I’m stupid–OK?–to walk away from millions of dollars. Because if you have the opportunity to play in the NFL, it’s supposed to be a no-brainer,” Brown said on the Tamron Hall Show.

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“A big inspiration from my story comes from my older brother. He was slain in service, serving our country over in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Since 2014, First Fruits Farm has provided more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce.

Tony O. Lawson


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THE BEAST MODE BUSINESS EMPIRE

Last September, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch made one of the most surprising plays of his career: a dance move. Competing against the New York Jets before an Oakland crowd of 50,000, Lynch was standing on the sidelines when he heard a song by local rapper E-40 on the stadium speakers.

Long renowned for outrageous behavior—he once spent an entire press conference stating single-syllable answers while wearing a plaid hunting cap with earflaps—the 5-foot-11-inch, 215-pound running back makes a side career out of the unexpected.

Still, no one was prepared when Lynch, overcome by the music, suddenly removed his helmet and began dancing in a raucous, dreadlock-swinging, full-bodied bounce—sending his teammates, the crowd and, as the footage spread online, the rest of the world into hysteria.

For Lynch, the moment was from the heart, spontaneous, the kind of thing that makes him one of the most riveting stars in the NFL, but his company’s next move was pure strategy. Within 24 hours, Lynch’s online retail business, Beast Mode, had created a commemorative shirt of the dance, posted it online and blasted it out to his fan base, another victory in the growth of his other lifelong passion: business.

“He moved the audience, it went viral and we immediately got up a shirt,” says Leandrew Robinson, CEO of Hingeto, the online retail company working with Beast Mode. “It did really well because people wanted to connect with that moment, and Marshawn is one of the smartest entrepreneurs I know.”

In the past few years, Lynch has grown Beast Mode from a backyard enterprise into a full-blown empire, encompassing everything from apparel to restaurants to online series with Facebook. All of which is helping lead a rising new trend: athletes using technology to bypass traditional sponsorships in favor of creating their own brands.

“Athletes aren’t just shilling products in the way that they used to,” says Todd Fischer, senior vice president with GMR Marketing, a sports consulting business. “Social media is giving them an opportunity to connect with fans like never before. Now they’re seeing themselves as businesspeople instead of just athletes.”

With Lynch’s Beast Mode, Derek Jeter’s Players’ Tribune media company and Tom Brady’s TB12 nutrition system, athletes are increasingly skipping endorsement checks in favor of taking stakes in brands themselves, acting as both investors and salespeople—upending traditional marketing while making a huge impact on business.

In 2015, LeBron James turned down $15 million from McDonald’s in favor of being a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a natural-ingredients restaurant in which he invested. Within two years, he had helped expand the small chain to more than 400 stores—the fastest start in the history of the U.S. food-service business, according to industry consulting firm Technomic.

“LeBron’s equity stake blew away anything he would have made from an endorsement deal,” Fischer says. “And he helped take the company to new places. A lot of these deals represent players’ personal interests or investments, their ability to authentically represent the brand.”

Authenticity is key to players connecting to audiences and, in turn, succeeding in business. In 2017, when Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman got tired of talking at press conferences, he struck a deal with Samsung, outfitting his car and home with their devices and recording his thoughts on the go, uploading them directly to his fans through the Players Tribune site without filter.

“The worst thing Richard could do for Samsung is present a sanitized version of himself,” says Jeff Levick, CEO of the Players’ Tribune. “That’s not what makes him entertaining. And equally for a brand perspective, that’s what makes him so attractive. He’s dynamic, real and authentic. All this goes to the nature of athletes—their business acumen and brand precision has long been underestimated.”

On the face of it, Lynch, 31, is the last person anyone would expect to help spearhead a movement, let alone run his own business. Over his 10-year career, in addition to making Super Bowl-winning plays, the running back has made endless headlines for controversial to just plain weird acts off the field, from refusing to talk to reporters (he didn’t respond to interview requests for this story) to giving Oakland fans thousands of packs of his beloved Skittles candy. But less reported are Lynch’s other endeavors, such as supporting youth-league football camps and literacy programs and revitalizing his beloved Bay Area neighborhood.

And, with his every move chronicled online, fans are taking note. Amid all the bustle to grab customers’ attention, Lynch’s voice, for better or for worse, always seems to come from the heart, and that translates to his business. In 2013, when he founded Beast Mode, Lynch did all the legwork himself—filling shirt orders, licking envelopes and signing a Seattle grocery store as his first retail partner.

Even his reported $5 million a year in traditional endorsement deals comes from companies he loves. “It doesn’t matter how big the check is,” says Bryon Sheng, CMO of Beast Mode. “He rides his BMX bike to work every day, so he got a deal with SE Bikes. He only works with stuff he’s passionate about.”

Lynch has integrity, and that resonates with everyone. In 2017, just four years after signing that first Seattle grocery store deal, he inked a contract to sell his Raiders jerseys with both team and Beast Mode logos on them, a groundbreaking NFL-licensed collaboration that is hugely growing his brand while ensuring it remains true to its core value: Lynch himself. “Marshawn’s brand may not always be mainstream, but it’s very consistent,” Fischer says. “And that’s why he breaks through. He’s true to his brand.”

Source: Ad Age

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Marshawn Lynch sits during National Anthem

Marshawn Lynch just scored another point (no pun intended) with me and many others on Saturday. The Raiders’ running back remained seated during the national anthem during his first game back since the 2015 season.

marshawn lynch

The former Seattle running back sat on an orange cooler with his arms resting on his knees, while others around him stood.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was unaware of Marshawn’s intention to sit but said he spoke with the veteran rusher after the game.

“(Lynch) said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself,'” Del Rio said. “I said, ‘So you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem, but I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing, and we’ll do ours.’ So that’s a non-issue for me.”

Marshawn Lynch openly supported Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and racial injustice last season.

On a related note: Many mainstream media outlets reporting this story are mentioning that he had a banana in his hand while he sat. What does that info have to do with anything?  What if he was holding a helmet or apple. Would they feel the need to mention that?

That’s the kind of disrespect that comes with standing up (or sitting down) for yourself in a society that doesn’t not care about the message he is trying to send.

Major props to Mr. Lynch.

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

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NFL Players are Investing Over $800,000 in a 12-year-old’s Lemonade Business

A group of former and current NFL players, led by former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, have invested $810,000 in 12-year-old Mikaila​ Ulmer’s booming lemonade business, Me & the Bees Lemonade .

This investment was made  through Foster along with Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin, Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown and former Texans running back Jonathan Grimes.

Other NFL players include safety Omar Bolden, linebacker Bobby Wagner, cornerback Darius Slay, cornerback Sharrick McManis, quarterback EJ Manuel and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

Mikaila started Me & the Bees Lemonade using her great grandmother’s flaxseed recipe at a lemonade stand. She eventually expanding and signed a deal with Whole Foods for approximately $11 million.

The product, which includes several flavors, is now sold at Wegman’s and other local stores.

Its important to say that this investment isn’t some charitable gesture. Me & the Bees Lemonade has reportedly grown more than 100 percent each year since 2014. That makes it a very attractive investment.

“We look for companies that match our main focus of developing a good product, but are also good people and do it for the right reasons,” Foster said.

“It’s more than about money to us. We believe that investing in small black businesses is extremely important.”

Arian Foster

Quin told the Houston Chronicle, “She’s very special. Obviously, she has a bright future. Hopefully, I can be a part of it and nourish it and watch her grow. The sky is the limit. I’m very impressed with her.”

Glover Quin and wife

“It’s awesome that I get to work with and around these two,” Ulmer said about Foster and Quin. “They’re very smart. I learned a lot from them.

I’m very happy that I’m able to work with them and they invested in my company and them helping us and mentoring us and believing in our mission. I think we have a better chance of achieving our goals. That keeps me pumped and excited every day.”

Folks, a group of Black professional athletes got together and invested in a Black owned business. I think a dream of mine just came true. #moreofthis #whosupnext

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson aka @thebusyafrican