Vixen Chat: NFL Wife, Michel Sproles

When 30-year-old NFL wife Michel Sproles found out she had breast cancer two years ago, it took her by surprise. Instead of letting her diagnosis bring her down, she educated herself, had a bilateral masectomy and continued being a strong wife and mother. Now the Compton native is using her story to inspire others and raise awareness about breast cancer among young women. She's launching a campaign for “The Pink Line,” a high end hair line and division of the 7 Image Premium Indian Hair Line, which is sold out of her San Diego salon, 7 Image Salon.

Five to ten percent of the proceeds of that hair line will go towards making wigs and hair units for breast cancer patients and survivors affected by chemotherapy and as well as hosting free health fairs in underserved communities in Los Angeles. The fairs will consist of food, mammogram trucks, children’s activities, autograph booths and more. As a part of her efforts to raise awareness, a free health fair will be hosted in Los Angeles on July 19.

Sproles also has other young women supporting the cause including model Eva Marcille, stylist and former Love and Hip Hop reality star Emily B., Hollywood promoter Miss Diddy, R&B Divas Atlanta star Meelah Williams and singer RaVaughn. VIBE Vixen got to talk with Mrs. Sproles about her own battle with cancer and how she is using her experience to bump up the awareness.

Photo Provided by Michel Sproles

So I hear you’re getting your Masters degree?

Yes. I’m going to University of San Diego and I’m getting a Masters in leadership studies.

What exactly does studying leadership studies comprise of?

A lot of people who go into higher education or have their own businesses or even enter non-profit get a leadership studies degree.

Does that tie into your campaign?

Not necessarily. I’m just a firm believer of finishing what I started. When I first met my husband back in 2007, I got accepted in a Masters program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I had got my classes and everything and ended up not going because him and I fell in love and then we got serious and then we moved to California from Vegas. So I’m actually going back to go get it so it's something I have under my belt. I’m not necessarily tying it into this.

What’s your Bachelors in?

Journalism and media studies.

When will you be done with school?

I actually have another semester and a half. I would be done by now but I kind of made it like that. The way I do it is that I go every other spring and summer semester because during the fall semester I’m wherever my husband is playing. The last three years he’s been playing in New Orleans, so during the season I’m there with him. This upcoming season he’ll be in Philadelphia, so I’ll be here during the fall season but I usually go to school spring summer and take off for the fall. I’ll be done in a semester and a half.

Aside from the campaign, you’re a health care activist?

I am. This all kind of came about recently. In October of 2012, I was diagnosed with DCIS. It stands for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. It's a non-invasive non-life threatening form of breast cancer. Basically the doctors found cancer cells in my milk ducts so as a result I decided to undergo a very invasive type of surgery. Most people think I went a little bit too far but for me I wanted to secure my future for my children and my husband. I underwent a bilateral masectomy and removed both of my breasts after I learned of having DCIS. The tricky thing about DCIS is that they connect it to going on to being invasive cancer.

There’s like three different grades of DCIS. There’s a low grade, there’s intermediate grade and then there’s a high grade. I actually had areas of intermediate and high grade DCIS so with that being said it means that the likeliness of it going on to becoming invasive cancer are very likely. So for me and my peace of mind and to be able to sleep at night, I decided to undergo a bilateral vasectomy and just remove both of my breasts in their entirety. For some women, that’s doing a lot because they want to keep their breasts and they don’t wanna do something that drastic.  But for me I just thought it was better for me and for my family. Some women they just remove some of the areas of the DCIS and some women do nothing and they just watch it and go to the doctor every six months and I thought that was like nerve wrecking and I didn't want to do something like that.

So undergoing the surgery gives you a smaller chance of it coming back?

In medicine they can never tell you there is a zero percent chance of something coming back, but for me, I have a less than a one percent chance that it will ever come back. For me, it's pretty much obsolete and by the grace of God it will never ever come back and be an issue again.

What was your recovery like?

Honestly I think a lot of it has to do with your mental state and how quickly you want to get back to normal life and doing normal things. For me, I was actually at my husband’s football game like two weeks later. I couldn’t really hold my daughter. At the time she was relatively young and I couldn’t hold her for at least two months. It was more like six to eight weeks where I couldn’t hold her. It was really hard but I got my full range of motion back almost three months after my surgery. I was able to lift my hands above my head and do some of the things I would normally do as far as exercising and things like that prior to my surgery.

How has your life changed?

After I had my surgery, I changed my diet drastically. I was eating like, nothing. I was losing weight and looking kind of crazy so I was like, well I don't want to do that. I slowly started to incorporate some of the normal things, because after my surgery I wasn’t eating any meats. Everything I would eat was just super organic. I mean, basically like sticks right off the ground but maybe about three or four months after the surgery I started to incorporate meats and my normal diet routine. I’ve never really had a terrible diet. I cut back on a lot of sugar, caffeine, things like that I tried to cut out of my diet. But for the most part I’ve had a healthy diet so not much has changed.

Were you the first in your family to be diagnosed with breast cancer?

I was actually the first to be diagnosed with breast cancer in my family. It does not run in my family. In fact, I actually took a gene test. It’s called the BRCA gene test and it determines if you’re carrying a mutated gene that would mean that you're likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer. I was actually negative for that gene which was a blessing because that means for my kids that I didn’t hand down the gene to my daughters. I have two daughters. So I was the first diagnosed and it doesn't run in my family or anything like that so it was kind of one of those things that happen. I’m just grateful I caught it when it did.

Now about your campaign I see you have women like Eva Marcille participating. How did you pick who you wanted to participate?

This campaign is really targeted towards women under the age of 40, really between the ages of 20 and 35. I really wanted to choose younger women to be a part of this to appeal to that demographic and that audience. I just wanted to bring awareness to younger people. I think sometimes when you’re under the age of 30 you kind of think you are invincible. You think things are not gonna happen because you’re young and you have youth and you feel like nothing can happen. So I really wanted to appeal to that demographic and that audience and let them know that at 28 you can still develop a cancer, you know? It doesn't really matter what age you are because from a lot of the studies I’ve researched and read, there’s women as young as the age of 17 that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. So I think regardless of age we should be looking out for this.

It seems like you have a lot going on with being a wife, mother, student and now health care activist. How do you balance everything?

I have a lot of support with my husband. I have a nanny, so my kids are taken care of when I’m not here. My mom, my sister, I have a lot of support, my grandmother. The people around me support me and help me balance everything, so when I’m unable to do something I can always delegate a task to someone else to kick in and pick up where I left off. For the most part, just keeping a tight schedule and making use of all the 24 hours in my day. I kind of space out everything, too. During the football season I’m not as busy because I don’t have school going on. So during the football season I try to do as much as I can do in regards to my businesses and things like that. Then in the off season we have different event in the summertime, but it's not lasting the entire summer. When I’m in school I try to focus on school.

What businesses do you have?

I own a hair salon and it's located in San Diego, CA. The Pink Line division is a division of my hairline that is already existing via my salon. So the Pink Line is just a division that I dedicated to… well a portion of those proceeds will go towards putting on these different health fairs and breast cancer awareness events and things of that nature.

Is there more than one location?

I have one physical location, however I just recently started doing a mobile division. So we service both San Diego and Los Angeles.

When did you open your hair salon?

We had our grand opening on August 30, 2013.

Was the launch of the salon inspired by your bout with cancer?

That’s something that I kind of already wanted to do and was already in the works.

What’s in the future of you being a health care activist? Any other projects or campaigns that you will be working on?

I don’t have any other campaigns other than this one. I really want to give this 100 percent and get this one off of the ground and going before I take on any other tasks. I don't want to put too many different things on my plate. In the future I’m just working towards raising money through this campaign and kind of keep it going every year and put on a health fair once a year in the summertime. My goal is to do it in the inner city communities, like the underserved communities like South Central. As it grows and gets bigger, and I hope that it will, then I will try to expand it to other communities and other states and then make it a nationwide type of thing, but that’s definitely far out.

Photo Credit: Instagram

From the Web

More on Vibe

Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...


— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

Continue Reading
Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

Continue Reading
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.


View this post on Instagram


I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

Continue Reading

Top Stories