Journalist Jon Entine published a book in 2000 titled Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, where he supports this concept. “Check the NBA statistics; not one white player has finished among the top scorers or rebounders in recent years”, the journalist claims.
However, the fitness equipment industry lacks diversity among owners and operators. Most of these fitness-gear brands are predominantly owned and operated by white people.
The pandemic caused a significant growth in sales for fitness equipment companies since more people wanted to get in shape in the comfort of their homes. Companies offered more diverse equipment yet were still sold by the same white companies.
Percell Dugger, founder of Fit for Us, an agency that advocates Black fitness professionals and underserved communities, claims he can only name a few Black fitness gear owners.
“The disparities and inequality that exist for Black people, in general, exist in so many ways”, even in the fitness gear industry, Dugger claims.
Dugger’s claim is supported by a 2020 poll commissioned by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. The poll discovered that 74% of Black business owners face the challenge of a lack of capital and investment resources.
The poll also identified that 59% of these businesses still experienced racism or bias when they started their business. But despite this, few Black fitness gear owners rose to the challenge and proved successful.
One such person is Anthony “Buddy” Lee. At 64, Lee is still in great shape. He is responsible for improving the jump rope, incorporating swivel-bearing technology, which created its niche of fitness training. Lee claims that his innovation was adapted by jump rope companies and is still applied today.
Another Black entrepreneur dominating the fitness gear industry is Danyel Surrency Jones. Jones created the weighted basketball gloves Powerhandz in 2014. His idea for the gloves is to help basketball players improve their dribbling skills.
Lee and Jones and other Black fitness-gear company owners are redefining the fitness-gear industry. They have paved the way for Blacks to bring their innovation in the world of fitness to others.