In 2017, out of the 224 people who took the agent certification exam administered by the NFL Players Association, 33 were women—the highest number since the exam commenced in 2001. In 2005, some female test takers couldn’t recall seeing any other women taking the test. And just last year, women were estimated to make up less than 5 percent of the 800 sports agents registered with the NFL Players Association.
Simply existing as a woman in the sports agency world is historic. One of those pioneers is Nicole Lynn, who wants to do more than just exist in history. She’s on the precipice of making it.
At this year’s NFL draft, the 30-year-old sports agent’s client Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle for the Alabama Crimson Tide, is projected to be a top five draft pick. That would make Lynn the first black female sports agent with a client drafted that high. But more important to Lynn than making history is making sure her clients have a life after the game is over.
“While [attending the University of Oklahoma], I became friends with a lot of athletes. I watched those athletes go from rags to riches when they got drafted by the NFL and then back to rags when [their time with] the NFL was over,” Lynn told ONE37pm. “I noticed they couldn’t retain their wealth, so I wanted to find a way to help them make as seamless a transition out of the NFL as they had when they went into the NFL.”
In 2015, she became the first female agent at agency PlayersRep, which was acquired by Lil Wayne’s Young Money APAA Sports in 2017. Lynn spoke with ONE37pm about the influence of Lil Wayne’s name in the sports world, the struggles and benefits of being a female sports agent and how one day wearing braids to the NFL Scouting Combine will be a sign she’s truly broken barriers.