Like so many low-income inner Black males, he grew up in a low-income single-parent household with no father, no money, and no idea what life would hold for him. Although he had a loving family, he became the stereotypical young Black male and fell into the inner-city’s street culture love of sports and disregard for education.
Damario had one dream growing up—the dream of most inner-city Black males— to play professional football, and thought he was the next “great one”. He wasn’t and that was even before he blew out his knee during his senior year.
Worse, he graduated from high school near the bottom of his class with an attitude problem ,and was forced to accept a football scholarship from a small school he did not want to attend.
Disgruntled and uninterested in education, Damario dropped out of school to “find himself” and moved to Dallas, Texas. While working in a relative’s makeshift warehouse—his garage to be more clear—and struggling to pay bills. It became clear that rejecting education was not only stupid, but that there was more to life than sports and "kicking it."
Driven by his newfound desire “to inform, inspire, and empower,” Damario returned to school, and over the next seven years, earned Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Law Degrees, all with honors. Including becoming the first University of Oklahoma (OU) African-American law student to be awarded the prestigious Joel Jankowsky “Most Outstanding Graduate” Award. He also walked-on and earned a letter for the University of Oklahoma football team.
After law school, Damario became the youngest full-time professor for OU’s African & African-American Studies Program, and was recognized for his innovation approach to student development through community service projects.
As the founder of the law firm of SolomonSimmonsSharrock & Associates, Damario successfully litigates cases in federal, state, and tribal courts, including arguing the noted case of Johnson v. Muscogee (Creek) Nation regarding Black Creek “Freedmen” tribal citizenship rights.
He also served as an integral member of the legal team — including famed attorneys Johnnie Cochrane and Charles J. Ogletree — who fought to obtain reparations for the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. Solomon-Simmons’ work on the 1921 case earned him an invitation to testify before the Congressional Black Caucus.
Damario has overseen the negotiation of millions of dollars of contracts, managed professional athletes’ business and legal affairs, and represented athletes regarding NFLPA, NCAA, and high school regulations. Using his The Game Plan Management™ training program he regularly lectures about strategies to organize an athlete’s transition to professional athletics.
He also created Bridge Builders: African-American Student Athletic Network, a nationally-recognized program that focuses on improving the overall development of African-American student-athletes at Division I universities.
He is routinely called upon to create and implement innovative charitable and educational initiatives such as the annual MVP Weekend, in which he mobilizes professional athletes to raise money and awareness for inner city youth, and The Williams/NOBLA Pipeline + Program which identifies, educates, and motivates minority high school students to consider a career in the law.
Damario’s story, his passion, and his testimony reflect one of his favorite quotes “either you’re part of the problem or you’re part of the solution.”
Damario is passionately in love with his high school sweetheart and wife, Mia, and they live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.