In 2022, four Black athletes reached the world’s top ten highest-paid black athletes, beating the 2021 record of three.
In 2022, Kylian Mbappe earned $120 million, LeBron James made $119.2 million and Kevin Durant $92.1 million. Stephen Curry and 20-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo received $92.8 million and $80.9 million, respectively.
These four sportsmen join Lewis Hamilton, who missed the list this year, as top earners.
Top 5 World’s Highest-paid Black Athletes
Kylian Mbappe earned $120 million, surpassing LeBron James. Forbes said that the 24-year-old French footballer debuted between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023.
The footballer became the third-highest-paid black athlete in the world after earning $20 million through sponsorships, appearance fees, and licensing in the year leading up to May 1, 2023.
Mbappe was born in Paris on December 20, 1998, to French-Cameroonian coach and agent Wilfred and Fayza Lamari. In 2017, he signed for Paris Saint-Germain aged 18 and became the second-most expensive player and the most expensive teenager in history with a €180 million transfer price.
Within a year, he rose from 35th to third on the list of highest-paid athletes. Mbappe earns €4 million per month and €100 million signing-on fee, making him the highest-paid footballer.
One World Cup win and a 2022 World Cup Final appearance. In June, Forbes named him the first Sorare player ambassador.
Forbes ranks LeBron James as the second highest-paid black athlete with an estimated net worth of 119.5 million. He earned $44.5 million on-field and $75 million off-field.
As of 23/01/2023, James, a Los Angeles Lakers player, became the first NBA millionaire. 2K Sports, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Blaze, Pizza PepsiCo, Walmart, Calm, CRYPTO.com, GMC, Nike, and RIMOWA support the 38-year-old.
James began playing basketball as a toddler in Akron, Ohio. He thrived on his primary school basketball team because sports became his life.
James became the youngest USA Today All-USA First Team member and Gatorade National Player of the Year at St Vincent-St Mary High School.
As he appeared on “SLAM” and Sports Illustrated covers in high school, he was touted as the future NBA superstar. Thus, Celebrity Net Worth lists him as one of the NBA’s top stars.
SpringHill Entertainment, owned by the four-time NBA champion, produced “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring him, which grossed $163 million worldwide.
McDonald’s, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin-Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Samsung, and Nike promote him. James owns 1% of Beats by Dre and received $30 million when Apple bought the firm.
He was drafted first by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. Four years earned $1.4 billion.
He signed a three-year $60 million agreement with the Cavs before the 2007-2008 season. The contract extension raised his 2009-2010 income from $5.8 million to $15.8 million.
He joined the Miami Heat in a spectacular 2011 broadcast that raised $6 million for charity. Miami paid him $110 million over six years.
He returned to Cleveland before the 2014-2015 season. After winning the 2015 NBA title, he signed a one-year deal and extended it to three years.
His $100 million three-year deal extension made him the NBA’s highest-paid player for the first time.
He returned to the Lakers from Cavs before the 2018/19 season. The four-year, $153 million contract paid $38 million each year.
LeBron signed a two-year, $85 million contract with the Lakers in 2020, earning $42.5 million each year.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, James made $452 million in salary and endorsements in his first 10 NBA seasons.
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Stephen Curry ranks third Highest-paid Black Athlete in the world with an estimated net worth of $100.4 million and $48.4 million in on-field and $52 million in off-field earnings.
2K Sports, Callaway, Golf, CarMax, FTX, Google, Panini, Rakuten, and Under Armour sponsor the 31-year-old Golden State Warriors player. Estimated net worth: $170 million.
Wardell Stephen Curry II was born March 14, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. Charlotte Hornets all-time leading scorer Dell Curry was his father. Celebrity Net Worth says Curry played basketball at Queensway Christian College.
The Golden State Warriors were his first NBA team. He won the Ontario title with the Toronto 5-0 before that.
Curry played for the Davidson College Wildcats after high school. He established NCAA records for three-pointers and scoring in college. The Wildcats won their first NCAA Tournament in his second year.
The NBA player married Ayesha Alexander in 2011 and has three children. Curry plays celebrity golf tournaments with Barack Obama, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He supports Chelsea F.C.
The 34-year-old made $89.1 million through salary/winnings and sponsorships making him one of the Highest-paid Black Athletes in the world. 2K Sports, Coinbase, Dapper Labs, Nike, and Weedmaps sponsor him. He is a $210M Phoenix Suns player.
The Seattle SuperSonics picked Durant in 2007 to begin his NBA career. He was chosen to the inaugural NBA All-Star Game in 2009-10 and became the youngest NBA scoring champion with 30.1 points.
Signing fees and endorsements increased with his court triumph. Kevin signed a five-year, $86 million Thunder deal before the 2010-2011 season.
He departed the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors in 2016, signing a two-year $54.3 million contract and a $61.5 million extension in 2018. Durant then joined the Brooklyn Nets in a sign-and-trade in 2019.
Durant’s commercial ventures have succeeded. Gatorade, Nike, Degree, and other endorsements have earned him $36 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Sportico reports that Durant has earned $580 million and will likely become a billionaire while playing. LeBron James is the lone NBA millionaire.
Nike owes Durant $85 million until 2024, according to Sportico.
Thirty-Five Ventures has invested in Acorns, Robinhood, Andbox, and Rubric.
He won Coinbase and Postmates Delivery Rider. Investing $250,000 in 2017, he got $13.5 million when the firm went public.
Uber purchased Postmates for $2.65 billion, valuing Durant’s investment at $15 million. Last year, Durant bought a 5% ownership in the Philadelphia Union, Sportico said. He can also buy 5%.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made $80.9 million in 2022 is the 5th Highest-paid Black Athlete in the world. The Bucks extended his five-year, $228.2-million deal in December 2020. He endorses Nike, 2K Sports, and Kraken.