The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and universities are the perfect plantations. They have slaves who work for them tirelessly for no money. For free. Not a dime.
Not only do the slaves work for the NCAA and the universities, but the slaves earn the NCAA and said universities millions of dollars in various forms of revenue.
They have money rolling in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
In business, we call that a multiplication of your efforts: making money while you sleep.
It is the perfect situation for the plantation owners and handlers, but does nothing to help the slaves.
The plantation owners get to make money off the labor of the slaves in various forms, including selling shirts and other officially licensed gear with the names, faces, and identification numbers of the slaves while prohibiting the slaves to earn any money at all.
All plantation owners have to do is give the slaves a room to sleep, food to eat, and classes, while the owners earn millions. I guess the classes are a step up from the old plantations, but it is still a pretty good deal for the owners.
Let me break it down for you: The plantation owners are the universities and the NCAA. All of them have a collective agreement to share the slaves and the revenue from them. The slaves, of course, are the football players. The minders or the handlers are the coaches. The merchants who go to the market to trade the slaves are the agents.
A major change in this new-era of plantation is that now Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and other races are included. They all are subjected to similar treatment, with, again, no payment for their services. Not only are they cheated because of the amount of income they make for the plantations (universities and NCAA), but they are also subjected to the long-term effects of injuries sustained while playing sports.
There are no funds set aside for the players who suffer concussions, broken limbs, memory loss, and other ailments.
All a player gets is a “thank you for your football playing days” and possibly a championship ring or two.
That is it.
However, universities do provide scholarships to other students and provide them with a stipend. You know, spending money. For example, the University of Alabama gives merit scholarships with a stipend of $3,500 per year, including tuition and room and board. In other words, you get extra spending money just for being smart.
Last time I checked, the merit scholars did not make millions for the universities, did not have their names and identification numbers for sale, and people did not pay lots of money to see them perform — yet they get paid for school.
It’s simply not fair.
One of the major issues with the NCAA rules is that players cannot be paid a stipend, cannot make money off of autographs or appearances, and the players cannot profit from their own likeness; slavery, of course, works that way.
The players risk their lives and health for the sport but cannot get enough money to get them a cheeseburger or buy a pair of shoes. Due to their grueling football practice schedules, these players do not have the opportunity or time to procure a part-time job. Many are from low-income families who cannot afford to send them spending money for the weekends.
That is a travesty and a shame.
It is time for the rules to be changed to protect the players.
At the end of their four-year tenure on the plantation, the slaves are taken to the NFL scouting combine to be measured, weighed, sized up, and tested for agility. This is where the merchants come in to play. If you know your history, the market was the place where all slaves were traded. They were put on display like animals to be looked over to see which specimen was best.
Sounds familiar, huh?
If that is not modern-day slavery, tell me what is.
Eric L. Welch Guster is founder and managing attorney of Guster Law Firm in Birmingham, Ala., handling criminal and civil matters, catastrophic injuries, criminal defense, and civil rights litigation. Mr. Guster has become a go-to lawyer for the New York Times, NewsOne, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Black America Web, and various radio programs about various court issues and high-profile cases.
Follow Guster on Twitter @ericguster.
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