NCAA Is “Racist” Because Black Athletes Help White Coaches Get Rich
Can we say NCAACP?
The NCAA is racist, according to Donald H. Yee, a lawyer whose firm represents professional athletes, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
It’s racist, he argues, because the organization, which brings in billions from lucrative TV contracts each year, makes white coaches and college administrators rich on the backs of unpaid black athletes. And in the era of “Black Lives Matter,” this racial dichotomy can no longer be tolerated:
[W]e need to stop ignoring the racial implications of the NCAA’s hypocrisy.
And so on Monday night, as the teams from the University of Alabama and Clemson University meet on the field in battle to become national champions, Yee reminds that the athletes, most of whom are black, will be “working for free.”
“So by refusing to pay athletes, the NCAA isn’t just perpetuating a financial injustice. It’s also committing a racial one,” Yee writes.
He complains further, noting the white history of the college organization:
Since 1951, when its first top executive was appointed, the head of the NCAA always has been a white man. Of the Power Five conferences, none — dating back to the 1920s — has ever had a nonwhite commissioner. A 2015 study by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that 86.7 percent of all athletic directors in the NCAA were white.
“Why is this business model — unpaid labor, mostly by black athletes, generating riches for white administrators — still tolerated?” Yee asks, before answering himself that players are keeping quiet.
Then continuing in the spirit of protests birthed from the “Black Lives Matter” movement, Yee urges black athletes to change the disproportionate system by staging sit-outs to display the “economic power they possess:”
Change, however, could come rapidly and fairly easily. If even a small group of players took a stand and refused to participate — imagine if they boycotted or delayed the start of Monday night’s championship game — administrators would have to back down. There’s too much money on the line, and no one could force the teams to play against their will. The schools and the NCAA would simply have to renegotiate the bargain with football and basketball players.
Paying players would cost money, of course, but with billions in TV revenue coming in, it shouldn’t be impossible to find a way to spend some of it on labor instead of on exotic woods for new training facilities [as the University of Oregon did]. Fans would get over the end of the NCAA’s “amateur” status, just as they have accepted pro basketball, hockey and soccer players competing in the Olympics.
And Yee should know; he is, after all, a lawyer and knows just how to encourage others to “help themselves to a better future.”