Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job, but sports agent Maggie Ntim has consistently relied on her faith to push her to new achievements and opportunities. The founder of Trinity3Agency, Ntim's career path has taken her from working alongside rapper 50 Cent with Coca-Cola to launching campaigns with top athletes like Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé, and representing Samantha Johnson, Hugh Roberts, Jasmyne Spencer, Sydney Schneider, among others.
Fueled with a passion for creating a space for women of color to succeed in an industry predominantly dominated by men, Ntim spoke exclusively to Yahoo Sports about becoming one of the first Black female pro soccer agent in the country, defending the ability for athletes to speak up against injustice and advice for Black women also interested in representing talented athletes at the professional level.
Yahoo Sports: You’re one of the first Black female soccer agent in the USA. Describe how that moment felt walking into a space where absolutely no one looked like you?
Maggie Ntim: That feeling was everything, but I knew there was a lot of responsibility that came with it. It was an incredible feeling when I began to sign players and their expressions would be: ‘Wait, this is the first time I’m seeing a Black woman in this space as an agent.’ In January, I participated in the MLS and NWSL draft and I was the only Black female agent to represent players in the MLS. On the women’s front, I was the first and only Black agent to represent players drafted.
It’s an amazing feeling, and a reminder to tell myself to keep elevating while also creating chances for more women that want to get into this space, especially women of color. It is a challenge, but we are so desperately needed.
YS: Do you feel like there’s a pressure for you to represent minority players or be a spokesperson for them?
MN: That’s a great question, and it’s difficult to pin down a correct answer. In my role, I’m here to advocate for these women to get the best contracts and opportunities off the pitch. The players can do that, but I find it’s better to have an advocate who can speak for you. Especially when it’s someone who looks like you. It’s so much more authentic and organic.
When I speak with general managers and scouts from these clubs, they see how passionate I am and they know how badly I want to see women of color win. As long as I’m here, I’m going to keep supporting women, women of color and especially women in soccer.
YS: In your line of work, what was the biggest thing that shocked you about the treatment of Black athletes and did that cause you to alter your brand because of it?
MN: I recently read an article about USWNT star Crystal Dunn saying that she deserved her fair share of praise. She went on to describe the treatment she faced during the World Cup and how a lot of mistakes the team made were blamed on her. I felt that was not only unfair, but also pointed out the mistreatment of Black players in general.
With the Black Women’s Player Collective officially up and running, more ladies are campaigning for equal treatment. My only hope is that they’re getting support from the league stateside and also around the world.
It didn’t really cause me to change my business move, if anything it really just fueled the fire for me to work even harder. Was I shocked? Sort of. But, we just have to keep going and you keep pushing the needle until there’s change. Even when change occurs, you don’t settle. You keep going. Before I was an agent, I was and forever will be a Black woman, so I’ve dealt with racism. I want to make sure the athletes I represent can also stand up for racial injustice or gender discrimination without fear of being reprimanded by their agent.
YS: We’re seeing the impact Black women have not only on the pitch, but now they’re making their presence known in the front office. What advice do you have for those who are interested in that route?
MN: That’s the beauty of us women. We are very strong, we’re resilient and we don’t stop. We’ve shattered glass ceilings and will continue to make history in whatever we accomplish.
If there are barriers that cause women to maybe second guess, my advice is to not let it prevent you from stepping into your truth. Step into it, step over it, whatever you have to do. Also, look back to bring more women to be able to carry on that legacy. Keep pushing through. Reach out, ask for advice. I know what it’s like to be left out when I was looking to become an agent, so I try to make myself available to any woman interested in speaking about how to get their foot in this trade. Your efforts will soon pay off, just stay the course and remind yourself why you started.
Pass Her the Mic is a series by Yahoo Sports that profiles Black women at the intersection of sports and race, discussing various topics ranging from racial injustice to athlete activism.
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