The WWE 2K24 Cover Highlights How Black Women Are Marketable Across Industries
I’m here for the concerted efforts being put forth to make sure that all people are represented fairly in society. This past week, WWE superstar Bianca Belair was revealed as the first Black woman on the cover of a WWE video game. It’s a significant sign of trust from the company that they believe her likeness has a mass appeal. This honor for Bel-Air got me thinking about what this is indicative of across industries. She said as much during our conversation.
Speaking with Blavity, Belair described this moment as “surreal,” not knowing that this would ever be possible for her. And as much as she is humbled by the honor, she said she’s most excited to share it with her family. When asked about the significance of representation in this moment, Belair smiled. She mentioned that to be able to be on a cover, as herself, with her bamboo earrings shows how much is attainable
In the world of video games, Black women aren’t seen on too many covers. Back in 2021, NBA 2K22 featured its first Black woman on its cover in WNBA legend Candace Parker. The NBA 2K series has been out since 1999. But in recent years their games also feature the WNBA teams as well. Once this collaboration came together, Parker was the perfect fit as a decorated champion, and household name.
If we take a step a bit further back, we can also highlight the Williams sisters. In 2001, Venus and Serena graced the cover of Sega Sports Tennis. It was a game that also included men. But the cover was emblematic of where the game (tennis) was, and where it was going. Now, in hindsight, how apropos right? Looking back at 2001, what a storied career both women have had. Bona fide legends in their respective rights.
About a year ago, a fledgling pro-wrestling promotion also came out with a video game. Their name is All Elite Wrestling (AEW). The name of their game is “Fight Forever.” And the centerpiece of their game cover was current WWE superstar Jade Cargill. So once again, there has been a concerted effort, to invest in Black women in pro-wrestling–which in turn, and in many ways, leads to these businesses investing in Black women in the world of business.
If you ask me, there could never be enough representation for us all. And it has taken years and years of talented women to excel in their respective fields so that companies could begin to believe. I’m glad to be in an era where I’m able to witness these women get more of a fair shake in industries such as sports and gaming. We’re continuing to see value in it all, and it’s imperative that we all continue to support. Now me personally? I’m making sure I pick up the deluxe edition of WWE 2K24. I want to be on the right side of history there and enjoy this moment.
Remember, this is another incremental win in our culture being represented authentically. Let these wins also continue to show all of us what is possible when we continue to perform at undeniably high levels. There isn’t a woman that I listed above that isn’t supreme. That’s the bar. And when we hit that bar, in the immortal words of Kevin Garnett, “anything is possible!”