March Madness and the NCAA Plantation: Why Black People Must Demand Reform

March 12, 2011

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I wrote about a new book regarding the NCAA’s alleged exploitation of black athletes, written by University of Georgia Professor Billy Hawkins. In his recently-released book, “The New Plantation,” Hawkins goes out of his way to help us understand that the method by which the NCAA does business is not much different from the mindset of plantation owners of the old south.

The analogies used by Professor Hawkins are thought-provoking and appear to be alarmist at first glance. After all, citizens are commonly comparing nearly every modern-day injustice to slavery in order to make a dramatic point. But in this case, the analogies are appropriate, in large part because slavery is not a dichotomy. Instead, it is actually a continuum, with complete freedom on one end and total servitude on the other. One could even argue that slaves themselves were not completely devoid of freedom, since they could have always chosen to run away, buy their freedom, maim themselves or even commit suicide as a way to escape their condition. The point of this very grim example is not to say that slavery was not entirely horrific; rather, it is to say that something does not have to be entirely horrific to be compared to slavery.


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One Response to “March Madness and the NCAA Plantation: Why Black People Must Demand Reform”

  1. Ben Montgomery Says:

    As a black man, I am convinced that there are no group people in American history, more ignorant than the black athlete.

    Today the NCAA announced its 68 teams competing in the B-Ball tournament. Sixty percent of the players are black but less than 15% of the head coaches are black. None of the Top 16 teams which the winner of the tournament are likely to come from, have black coaches.

    The success of coaches are based upon the being able to recruit the best players. And the best black players time after time choose to play for white coaches.

    The same is true of college football. When a black coach does get hired as head coach they usually don’t keep the jobs because the elite black athlete is playing for a white coach instead.

    We can’t blame the colleges because the players select the coach they want to play for. Last year, Randy Shannon, the only black coach of a top college football program, who had over come incredible odds and troubled upbringing, was fired at University of Miami, while the player of the year, black quarterback, Cam Newton led his team to the NCAA championship. What a difference Newton could have made if he had played for Shannon. Instead Newton did what most of his kind does, he made a white coach richer and more famous.

    Black pro coaches do very well. In 2010, The Super Bowl, The World Series and The NBA finals ALL had teams with a black head. The differnce the stupid black athlete can’t disciminate. He doesn’t get to choose his coach. He has to play for whomever the team hires and once the black coach gets athletes as good as his white counterpart then he succeeds.

    Finally, what other ethnic group who be in a situation where they have most the players but very few coaches. Not Jews, Not Italians, Not even OTHER black people. Nobody other than the dumb black jock.

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