When Marshawn Lynch stood at that podium a little over a week ago and cautioned his fellow NFL players to “start taking care of y’all mentals, y’all bodies and y’all chickens and y’all will,” he spoke a real word because at the end of the day, it’s highly likely every professional football player wants to “be able to walk away and y’all will…Be able to do what y’all wanna do,” as Lynch put it.
That is why securing bigger and meatier pieces of the pie are essential while you have the means to do it, and there is no greater testament to that than the money move Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald just made when he purchased a minority stake in the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
As ESPN notes, this makes Fitzgerald—who has had season tickets to the Suns since 2005—the second NFL player to have an ownership share of an NBA team. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (lmao, sorry to that man) bought a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018.
In a statement, the 11-time All-Pro star said “I have a special place in my heart for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, and I have a great deal of respect for Robert [Sarver, managing partner of the Suns]. He has become a dear friend and trusted confidante. He is a big part of why I am making this commitment.”
Fitzgerald, 36, is already leaving one hell of a legacy behind him in the NFL. He joined the Cardinals in 2004 as the third overall NFL draft pick. He has been voted to the All-Pro team—an NFL honor that designates the best player at each position—11 times in the 16 seasons he has played in the league; he was the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year, and now, having just signed a new contract to play with the Cardinals in 2020, ESPN notes that he is “considered the greatest player in Cardinals history, breaking every significant receiving record for the franchise.”
In a separate statement to ESPN, Sarver said of Fitzgerald: “Larry has been a great ambassador for our organization for years. He is an Arizona icon and a businessman, passionate philanthropist, and leader. He brings a unique perspective from outside basketball but still grounded in sport, and we welcome him as a valued partner and investor.”
Fitzgerald is not expected to take a more active role with the Suns until after he is done playing football.
But also? Hurray for him buying a stake in an NBA team and not an NFL franchise.
Because it’s still “Fuck the NFL” on everything.