New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland stepped from the field and into the classroom to teach students about financial literacy during the offseason.
Copeland taught at his alma mater as a co-professor of a course called ‘Inequity and Empowerment, Urban Financial Literacy.’ He taught alongside Dr. Brian Peterson, the director of Penn’s Black Cultural Center.
“I don’t care if you’re an engineering student, a nursing student, if you’re going to build rockets when you grow up or if you’re going to sweep floors. You’re going to have to use something in this class,” Copeland said to ESPN.
Copeland got the idea for the class — which he’s nicknamed “Life 101” — years ago while scoping out real estate investments with some Detroit Lions teammates. He told ESPN that he’s not an expert in the finance field, but his savings and investing habits are something everyone can to aspire to.
Copeland saves and invests 90 percent of his income with the Jets and lives off of the rest.
Although his class has been something he has been working on for years, Copeland told ESPN that he does not plan on doing it long-term or going for a tenured position — he just wants to give back.
“The goal for me is to make this information accessible to everyone, some way or somehow,” he said to ESPN. “And then, long term, hopefully that actually shrinks the wealth gap. So that might sound outrageous, but I don’t care. It’s outrageous to make it to the NFL, right? So you know, again, that’s the long game.”
Copeland started his career with the Detroit Lions and has played three seasons in the NFL. He’ll be a free agent this offseason.