ImpactAlpha, Aug. 30 – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck wasn’t the first NFL veteran to step away from football on his own terms this summer. In July, Derrick Morgan, a linebacker with the Tennessee Titans, retired after nine years in the league to pursue a long-time passion: impact investing.
Over the last few years, Morgan built up a portfolio of investments in social justice startups, including community investment platform CNote, tech ecosystem Bitwise Industries, affordable housing financier Community Housing Capital and Macro, a production company representing perspective of persons of color. Now, Morgan has launched KNGDM Impact Fund to mobilize hundreds of millions of dollars for Opportunity Zones investments in Nashville (where he played pro ball), Atlanta (where he went to college), Austin (where his business partner lives) and Coatesville, Penn. (his hometown).
Morgan’s goal: promoting ownership, empowerment and upward mobility in underestimated communities.
Morgan is redefining what it means to be an athlete. In an essay, Morgan shares how an injury early in his career left him alone on the sidelines. He discovered himself outside of the game, became a father and reconsidered his future. While continuing on in the NFL, he invested in himself – getting an MBA – and companies that represented his values. He built a network that includes long-time impact investor Morgan Simon, whose Candide Group advises Morgan, to help fill gaps in his investing knowledge.
With the NFL behind him, he plans to leverage his new platform for good, he says, and write a new narrative for what athletes are supposed to be. “The types of projects we’re doing, they’re going to change the whole market,” Morgan told ImpactAlpha.