Maria Sharapova (the Russian tennis star and one of the highest paid female athletes; earning more than twice the endorsement money of Serena Williams) told reporters she tested positive for the drug Meldonium in January.
Sharapova has been taking the banned drug for a decade due to health concerns. It didn’t take long for advertisers to abandon the tennis star. Time will tell how Sharapova will recover from this, on and off the courts.
Sometimes a setback is nothing but a ‘setup for a comeback,’ especially if you have a support team and tools to turn trials into triumphs. Here are just a few examples of those who refused to cower.
VANESSA L. WILLIAMS: Actress and award-winning R&B singer/songwriter Vanessa Williams broke ground in the world of pageantry and was the first black woman crowned Miss America in 1983. But Williams’ historic win was short-lived after nude photos featuring her and another woman surfaced in Penthouse magazine. As a performer, she rebounded with her 1991 album release, The Comfort Zone, which earned five Grammy nominations and lead to acting roles from Broadway to the big screen. The television and film star is a Legacy Award recipient and speaker at the 2016 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.
DESIREE ROGERS: When President Barack Obama was elected as the nation’s first African American Commander-in-Chief in 2008, he handpicked fellow Harvard alum and long-time friend Desiree Rogers to join his dream team. Named among BE’s Top 75 African Americans in Corporate America, Rogers would make history as the first black White House social secretary. She resigned after a couple crashed the Obama administration’s first state dinner. Today, she serves as CEO of Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of EBONY magazine.
MICHAEL VICK: His involvement in Bad Newz Kennels dog-fighting ring cost him endorsements with big names such as Nike, a large fan base and his reputation. After being released from prison, the man formerly known as the league’s highest-paid player worked a $10-an hour construction job, before assisting in children’s health and fitness programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs. Two years later, Vick completed a successful season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
WALT DISNEY: The Walt Disney Co. (now Disney Corp.) and its cartoon animation pioneer weathered several major financial setbacks in the late 1920s and 1930s. His first was losing rights to the popular Oswald the Lucky Rabbit character. His company was $4 million in debt by the early 1930s. With barely enough cash to finance the project, he released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1938. The blockbuster movie sprung the company out of bankruptcy and bankrolled Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif.
STEVE JOBS: After his forced resignation from Apple Computer in 1985, Jobs spent years developing NeXT, a computer workstation for educators. But with a high price tag and reports of numerous bugs, sales never materialized. Apple acquired NeXT in 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company as interim CEO. He developed the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, making Apple one of the most successful Fortune 500 companies of the past decade.