Derrian Gobourne, the 2019 NCAA national champion, 1st Team All-American and 3-time All-SEC gymnast of Auburn University, has inked a NIL deal with Legacy League to launch her “Black Girl Magic” NFT collection, according to Busines College Sports.
The collection will feature other Black female gymnasts, including Ananda Brown, Jada Glen, and Aria Brusch from Auburn; Hannah Joyner from Rutgers; Amari Celestine from Missouri; Sekai Wright from UCLA; and Kyla Bryant from Stanford.
Gobourne shared the news of her deal on an episode of the Game Face podcast.
“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 do it,” Gobourne said. “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.”
“Ever since I was a young girl, I didn’t see a lot of people that look like me in the sport of gymnastics,” she added. “So, it’s really important for me, and for other Black gymnasts and little girls and even older women, to see that there are people that look like you. I just want to get that out. And I just think that that would be a dream come true for a lot of little girls. My younger me would really love that.”
When asked to define “Black girl magic,” Gobourne said it's simply being unapologetic about who you are.
“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,” she said. “You need to do it this or that way. Just stepping into who you are. Yes, I am different, and I love that. That’s what makes me stand out.”
For the collection, it was extremely important to Gobourne for her to include other Black gymnasts.
“It’s just very comforting knowing that I have so many other beautiful Black gymnasts backing me up,” she said. “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,"she added. "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.”
Ed James, the managing partner of Booked and Busy Talent, said in a statement, “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.”
Kurt Hallead, a co-founder of Legacy League, noted the importance of partnering with female athletes like Gobourne.
“At a time when female student-athletes lag behind their male counterparts in the NIL ecosystem, we are excited to partner with Derrian,” he said. “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.”