Wednesday, December 7

100 Influential Black Women in Sports: LA84 CEO Renata Simril

Sports Illustrated and Empower Onyx are putting the spotlight on the diverse journeys of Black women across sports—from the veteran athletes, to up-and-coming stars, coaches, executives and more—in the series, Elle-evate: 100 Influential Black Women in Sports.

When Renata Wanamaker Simril was 18, she found out the man she’d always assumed to be her father was, in fact, not.

“My older brother and sister’s last name was Smith, so I thought mine was too,” Simril says.

No one had explained that she was born from a relationship her mom had after leaving her siblings’ dad. The truth finally surfaced when Simril needed her birth certificate to enlist in the military, and she saw that her last name was really Wanamaker. It was a shock, maybe even a bit of betrayal, but it also explained why she felt so different, she says.

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