Brandon Copeland Wants to Talk About Money

When he's not trying to stop Tom Brady on the field, NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland is teaching students about financial literacy in the classroom. Why? Somebody has to. đź’¸

NFL's Brandon Copeland Finance 101

Brandon Copeland plays sports for the New York Jets — but during the offseason, the NFL linebacker is Professor Copeland. His subject? Financial literacy. Copeland partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s Makuu Black Cultural Center to start “Life 101." to fill what he saw was an educational gap in how people were taught about money solutions. He decided to start teaching to help fill the gap in financial education — 2/3 of Americans can’t pass a basic financial literacy education test according to the FINRA Foundation. Copeland also interned at the investment bank UBS over summers during college and has since returned to Penn to teach a financial literacy seminar with Dr. Brian Peterson, the director of Penn's Makuu Black Cultural Center.

This NFL star is from Sykesville, Maryland. He is the grandson of former Baltimore Colts player Roy Hilton. Copeland attended the University of Pennsylvania where he was the captain of the 2012 Ivy League championship winning team. He graduated from the Wharton School with a Bachelor of Science in economics. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. He was waived in 2013. In 2018, Copeland signed with the New York Jets. He played in 16 games with 10 starts, recording 35 combined tackles, and five sacks. In 2019, Copeland re-signed with the Jets.

Copeland says treating money as a taboo topic makes the situation worse. Copeland also wants to promote financial literacy among minority communities whether or not they pursue a career in entertainment, which are targeted by predatory financial institutions that charge extremely high rates and fees, like pawn shops and payday lenders. Copeland says he’s distinctly aware of the people he’s trying to help.