What started from an Instagram DM has led Nicole Lynn to shattering glass ceilings as the first Black woman agent to represent an NFL player in the Super Bowl.
After following Hurts’ collegiate football career and seeing his NFL draft, Lynn sent him a “shot in the dark” direct message asking for a meeting. Just three years after impressing both him and his father during a meetup, with her storied management career that spans several NCAA players, she began representing him.
“I know the agent world in the NFL, and all sports, is very male-dominated,” Hurts told Sports Illustrated in a 2022 interview. “But Nicole was really on top of her stuff. She was prepared. She knew what she was talking about. She was hungry. And she was determined. And I feel that determination like that never rests. Once you come across such a determined individual, that just hits me a little different.”
That determination has led Lynn to make history in a sector made and ran by men, white men specifically.
According to Zippia, the most common ethnicity among sports agents is White, which makes up 68.6% of all sports agents. Additionally, women make up just 23% of U.S. NFL agents, and of that, only 10.4% are Black (men or women). With that, it’s no surprise Lynn has dealt with significant challenges navigating the space, particularly being underestimated.
Sports Illustrated wrote that shortly after Lynn was hired, another male agent told Hurts and his father “Hey, if baby girl doesn’t work out, give us a call. She’s sweet, but—you know.”
Affronted, Hurts later asked Lynn “How much of this do you deal with? Why would it matter that you’re a woman?”
“Oh, Jay,” she said, laughing. “This is just my life.”
Looks like that’s definitely not going to be the case anymore.