Long gone are the days when NBA and NFL’s brightest stars wore oversized suits on draft day. Today’s athletes are skilled, unapologetic, and uber-stylish. They play hard on the court, racetrack, or field and serve looks when they’re not scoring points to win the big game. Together with the guidance and vision of their stylists, these athletes are on top of their style game.
Stylish NFL player (and heartthrob) Jalen Hurts made history, this week, becoming the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL with a blockbuster $255 million 5-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles. But Black women are talking about him for different reasons. The graceful ball slinger is on the digital cover of Essence Magazine, giving Black women our flowers (and providing major eye candy). Black women have been integral in Hurts’ life and career — including brokering the deal that has him making headline news.
In addition to the cover story, Hurts appeared in a video professing his love for Black women, saying, “Thank you for being you for showing up the way they should do, for being trailblazers, for being loving, for being resilient.”
You don’t have to be into sports to appreciate these prominent Black athletes’ great style. Whether they’re suited and booted after the game at a press conference, or dripping with swag on the walk-in, we love watching the physically gifted express themselves through their style.
And we’re sending the love right back. Check out these 9 stylish athletes:
1. Cam NewtonSource:Getty
Cam Newton is one of the few NFL players who got invited to the Met Gala. But when it comes to eclectic style, Cam Newton has a scarf to go with it. The former quarterback loves to pair a good hat and scarf combo and even broke the Internet when he debuted what’s become his signature look.
2. Russell WestbrookSource:Getty
Russell Westbrook made a big style statement at the 2022 Met Gala, themed ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion,’ debuting his American flag-inspired haircut to match his slick blue suit. Westbrook is another athlete who makes headlines for his game-day style. Some of his memorable looks include kilts, ankle-baring trousers and killer footwear.
3. Iman ShumpertSource:Getty
Iman Shumpert is pretty much good at everything he does. From winning Dancing With The Stars to being an exemplary model of Black fatherhood, he also has the style to go with it. it doesn’t hurt that his wife is Teyana Taylor— one of the most stylish women on the planet. And now their daughters are following in their fashionable footsteps.
4. Dwyane WadeSource:Getty
Dwyane Wade may have retired from the NBA, but the ball is still in his court when it comes to style. D Wade has also been to the Met Gala, more than once, alongside his wife Gabrielle Union. During an interview with CR, the doting father discussed his fashion come-up. Long gone are the days when he donned baggy suits to fit in with early 2000s trends. Wade and his stylist Jason Bolden find inspiration in those old looks. The objective was “to play off the way the team use to dress,” Wade’s stylist, Jason Bolden, told GQ via Instagram. “But we thinned things out yet still added relaxed jackets/coats over all the looks.”
5. Odell Beckham Jr.Source:Getty
There is no stylish athlete list without Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ has built his brand and career off game-changing (one-hand) catches and style. OBJ is a fixture at the Met Gala and ESPYs. The new dad donned a whopping $650K chain to complete his Robin Hood-inspired look, to last year’s ceremony. And the NFL baller isn’t afraid to shake things up in the wardrobe department. Even his hair makes headlines, like when he cut his signature blonde tresses debuting a dark caeser haircut at the same ESPYs where he wore a Prada vest and shorts combo. Thanks to his friendship with Drake, OBJ reached a new level of fame when he appeared in his music video Laugh Now, Cry Later wearing a stylish Led Zepplin shirt.
6. Stefon DiggsSource:Getty
A feature in Vogue, debut at Paris Fashion Week, and his undeniable fashion sense lands Buffalo Bills player Stefon Diggs on our best-dressed list. The superstar wide receiver opened up about his love for fashion ad what it felt like to walk in his first runway show. “It was one of the best experiences that I’ve had in my lifetime—it’s something I’ve dreamed of for a long time,” Diggs explained. We have a feeling we’ll be seeing Diggs at this year’s Met Gala.
7. Lewis HamiltonSource:Getty
Lewis Hamilton doesn’t ball, but he’s one hell of a driver and has been slaying in these style streets for some time now. Lewis has been an ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger since 2018, which makes sense why the British racecar driver was invited to attend the 2022 Met Gala where he was styled by the now-retired Law Roach.
8. Lebron JamesSource:Getty
When your wife is Savannah James, how could Lebron James not be on our stylish athlete’s list?! Lebron lights up the tunnel like it’s his personal runway. James’ perfectly tailored looks always turn heads. He and the James family appeared in a luxurious Vanity Fair spread. that solidified their fashion prominence.
9. Travis KelceSource:Getty
Travis Kelce may not have attended the Met Gala just yet, but the hunky Superbowl champ was in attendance at Vanity Fair’s Oscar’s Afterparty rocking specs and a sleek black suit that oozed with swag. Not only do we love Kelce for his great style, like Jalen Hurts, he too loves Black women.