On her way to becoming the first Black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in swimming, Simone Manuel has attracted quite a bit of attention for her efforts in the pool. She has also tackled some of the ongoing race issues in America, emerging as a leading diversity speaker from the sports world.
While Manuel just wanted to be known for her skillful swimming, her feelings shifted last May after three high-profile events that ignited a national discussion about racism. After the footage was released of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a woman wrongly accusing a Black birder of threatening her in Central Park, and the murder of George Floyd – Manuel said,
It was time to have no filter.
In addition to her active role in the Black Lives Matter movement, she also has a growing commercial portfolio outside of the pool. Manuel has collaborated with companies including Toyota, Nike, Coca-Cola, Comcast, and TYR swimsuits that help to support her role as an activist and as one of the biggest names in swimming. As part of her contract with TYR, Manuel made it a point to include a clause that required diversity to be included in sponsorship obligations.
Manuel summed up her need to be active in the fight for social justice in a 2020 Instagram post.
Times change. Calendar dates change, but racism still remains. If we want a better country, we ALL must fight for equality and justice. No one escapes the bonds of injustice. No one!
To add to her endorsement earnings, Manuel recently revealed the launch of TOGETHERXR, a media and commerce business with Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, and Chloe Kim. According to the four co-foundes, the brand emcompases activism, wellness, culture, beauty, and fashion.
Manuel also was called on a s a diversity speaker at a Comcast event that announced the media company’s future plans to equip Wi-Fi in 20 Oakland community centers and parks. 1,000 students were also given laptop computers. According to Manuel, the sole purpose of the project was to ensure that low-income Oakland students had equal access to education – which is in line with her mission.
It is likely that Manuel, a four-time Olympic medalist, will have even a bigger platform following this summer in Tokyo and be one of the biggest Team USA stars again. She recently swept the 50-meter freestyle and 100 m free at the San Antonio Pro Swim event and has her eyes set on doing the same at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials.
She already has achieved many significant milestones in the sport leading up to this summer. Manuel has won five gold and one silver medal at the World Championships in 2017, and then she became the first woman swimmer to win seven medals at the 2019 World Championships.
If you are looking to book Simone Manuel or another diversity speaker from sports, Athlete Speakers is the industry leader you can count on. We provide talent for hundreds of events a year and have a team of experienced booking agents ready to help. Fill out our Online Booking Request Form or call us today a 1-800-916-6008.