Tuesday, October 10, 2006

William Rhoden Calls Black Athletes 40 Million Dollar Slaves.

TwitThis


This should be a good post. Rhoden essentially argues:

  • That Black Athletes have lost their connection with the community.
  • They professional and collegiate sport system is designed for them to be out for self.
Occupants of two worlds- the streets and the world of wealth, these athletes can speak from a perch of power and influence while holding the kind of "keep it real" pedigree that makes them relevent to the core black community.
  • If they leveraged their individual power, they could have an impact beyond what they could ever imagined.
...a crucial problem with Black Atheltes is that they should fee greatful for the things that they have rightfully earned, that they should come hat-in-hand in graditude for the money and power that they themselves generate. [This about as powerful as PE's Don't Believe the Hype, feel me?]
  • That there school athletic system is a conveyor belt of talent.
For African American Atheltes, the threat of the Conveyor Belt process goes beyond the ways in which it undermines character. The Belt is also designed to dull any racial consciousness and eliminate communal instincts. Instead the the belt cultivates racial know-nothingism.
  • Whats damaging about the proces is the lack of awareness by the person on the conveyor belt. The lack of understanding that there is a system here, and that from the time that you show any type of athletic prowess, I don't care if you were four years old...the moment he did something that made him different than the other kids, catch a ball shoot a basket.....he's on the conveyor belt.
The title comes from a statement that Larry Johnson made when he was still a NY Knick.
....money has little to do with his analogy of being like a slave on a plantation, what that he was really referring to relationships- namely between owner and worker.

================

Now, if Holdens book isn't enough, Brad Snyder just published "A Well Paid Slave" about Curt Flood and his fight for free agency.
I have not read this one. But, there is a review in the Times.
Um. Where is "The Curt Flood Story" Spike?

===============
===============

This post has been long over due. Jase. I did it fam. Where you at ock?

Reading this stuff will make yo' brain snap.

For true.

===============
===============

23 comments:

neo said...

What can black athletes do to improve their lot, esp. with regards to the 'disconnect' w/ their communities?

I do agree the system has enshrined, this go-for-delf ideology, which is why you see cats not taking degrees first but going pro immediately they have a window of opportunity.

... MaC JaY ... said...

good post. i saw this guy on stephen a. smith's show one night but never read his book cuz i think it's a buncha bullshit. this guy's trying to make $ off saying some outrageous shit that's gonna cause controversy. i refuse to support some shit like that. if he honestly believes that athletes are slaves, he's an idiot. period.

nothing about the professional athlete warrant's comparisions to a slave. i've been a sports fan and athlete my whole life and do not disagree that some shit is mainey about atheltics. i got to go to a good high school i'd never be able to afford because i could ball. my junior high games were scouted. when i wanted to quit in my junior year, losing my aid n not being able to continue at my school was a serious concern. i had colleges interested in my services then got seriously hurt [torn hamstring] and saw the hopes of the next level disappear with the quickness and ultimately my competitive career in athletics end. so i know the shit is cutthroat even at lower levels. that being said i would swap places with any athlete if they've got issues with their profession.

"money has little to do with his analogy of being like a slave on a plantation, what that he was really referring to relationships- namely between owner and worker."

to say the shit is not about money is a cop out. it is about money, everything is about money especially when you labeling someone as a slave. and if you're income is millions and millions of dollars a year... you're not a slave. money equals power, freedom and gives you all types of privileges that people without do not have. so what exactly about that conjures up ideas of slavery? and what about the worker-owner relationship? people seem to forget sports is a business, the owner is the boss. the owner writes the checks. the owner doesn't have to answer to anyone and can do what the fuck he wants. he's the boss and to quote my high school coach "this is a tyranny, a dictatorship". if the team struggles the owner takes a loss, not the player. and if the player struggles he has ever right to cut the player, demote him, whatever. if the player doesn't like it, tough shit. my boss at target tells me what the fuck to do and i'm not seeing millions a year, and i also get fired if i fuck shit up. that's life, not sports.

"They professional and collegiate sport system is designed for them to be out for self."

America is to be designed out for self, everything is. Everyone's competing with everyone, whether it's for the promotion at the office, territory on the block or the biggest contracts in sports. And when you succeed, you don't have to do shit. If I win the lotto tomorrow, my family and friends are coming with me and I'm buying a lotta expensive and flashy shit in excess that I probably don't need. Put some to good use, a couple charities or something. But other than that fuck everyone else, let them make their own money. Smell me?

Charles Barkley said it best: "I'm not a role model". Treal talk. Stop looking to athletes and stars for answers and shit, it's not in their job description to set a role model for your kids. Do for yourself. Plus I know from a first hand view, a lotta kids in the streets and shit could give a fuck about sports. A lot did like it, but where I was at I was one of the only ones. Maybe cuz I had a TV. If you finna to bang and flip drugs, LeBron can't do shit for you.

Finally, as someone who's isn't seeing the kinda money that athletes are the last thing I wanna hear is someone trying to explain to me that athletes are slaves. What the fuck am I then? Or the single mom working 40 hours a week at Wal Mart for shit wages and benefits? The drug dealer? The non-citizen? Just your regular average person?
I gotta lot to say on this topic, I'll stop wasting space though. I said my piece. Real good post MM.

Hummingbyrd said...

mAC jAY.

I gotta go to class.

But please believe.

We gone "go at it" on this topic.

Glad you came through.

Hummingbyrd said...

@ neo,

I am working on an answer to that as we speak.

Rhoden reccomends a National Players Assoc, which is a Hot Idea.

But I would imagine that their contracts prevent them from joining. But shit, if enough of em do it, isssa rap.

jaga_d_schmoov1 said...

mac...jay,
shyt ain't EVER about $dolo$ unless shyt transl8s directly in2 P-O-W-E-R.

the slavery meta4 is ALWAYS used w/in the context of the rel8ionship btwn those that have immense POWER and those who have none (relatively speaking).

example:
i know catz in prison who have 10x the C.O.s yearly salary hidden away in a fucking mattress in an abandoned apt--but when told to stand and recite his number or 'lights out' or whatever...the $15/hr dude has ultimate control over their f8...period.
or
when i played D-I college baseball our coach was 'old school' and required that all varsity players cut their hair and shave b4 every game (no moustaches, beards, goatees, braids, dreds, etc...period) or you would get suspended from the team & lose your scholarship (worth up to $50K/yr) which allowed 'non-athletes' 2 see us us as being 'rich/spoiled/etc' but we exchanged our self-determin8ion, control of our appearance, self-expression, etc. 4 an opportunity 2 have our educ8ion paid 4 and an opportunity 2 make the 'big show'...so we couldn't even THINK about being active in any student groups or protests or other 4rms of political consciousness...that shit is 'beat' outtta us slaves W-A-Y b4 we ever had a chance 2 see the loot that you claim makes athletes so 'free'.

in american race relations & politics (although lobbyists w/way more cash than any pro athlete/entertainer has access 2 runs that shyt) we must learn 2 always see things in terms of POWER dynamics rather than solely in terms of 'dollars & sense'.

just my $.02

word.lyfe
jg

Schimshamity said...

>> That Black Athletes have lost their connection with the community.

What community? The Black(tm) Community? Their local community meaning the commnity they went to school to get the fuck out of? In one breath, people bitch about altheletes when they "keep it real(tm)" and almost get run the fuck over like Steven Jackson, then in the very next breath, bitch because millionaires aren't doing enough for a "community".

There is nothing communal(or maybe there is, which is the real problem) about these "communities". If it were a community, all the neighborhood kids would be sitting around doing their homework together after school(like many other minorites with the success stereotype instead of the failure one i.e., asian& middle easterners). If it were a community, people would clean up some of these abandoned lots and sidewalks that I have to drive past everyday to and from work.

AI(the posterchild for this bullshit talk) and the rest can't learn for your dumb kids. He can provide for communities monetarily but its certainly possible it'll get wasted due to underutilization. Talk shit on Athletes all day but the bottom line is, he's probably doing more for the kids than their asshole parents.

They professional and collegiate sport system is designed for them to be out for self.

Riiiight. As if America wasn't founded on everyone being "out for self". I think they call it Capitalism.

Oh, and jg, my brain hurts reading that. 4s and 8s and Ys instead of the correct letter, doesn't make it any easier to read or faster to type.

RD said...

Ms. Fierce, you will dig this commentary, peep game...http://dallaspenn.com/weblog/?p=1165


RD

Hummingbyrd said...

Ok.

First. Mac J.

Then James.

Sh*t. Where the other J at.

And now this Schim cat.

If I woulda known yall was gone react like this i woulda been posted.

vik said...

one thing: i must read this book!

loved your thoughts.

what's good M DOT!
PEACE

J!!! said...

Word this post is interesting. but what does homie mean by saying, the belt cultivates racial know nothingisms??? if im trying to win a game, i dont give a damn about nothing else but winning the game. why i gotta worry about race on the side too. your already dealing with to many variables. athletes aint no different than anybody else trying to do a job, they just get paid alot.

----------

"a crucial problem with Black Atheltes is that they should fee greatful for the things that they have rightfully earned, that they should come hat-in-hand in graditude for the money and power that they themselves generate. [This about as powerful as PE's Don't Believe the Hype, feel me?]"
---------
I was wondering, should they feel greatful or not?everybody's a "slave" at some point.

haha. this post got me feelin all kinds of different ways, cause i got a little brother who is a baseball prodigy, and i push him to capitalize of the gift he was given, and keep it positive. but would pushing him in that direction be wrong or what?

on a side not, how was the function??? I been sick this whole week. but i been gettin better since i kept it Trini, and threw some tiger balm on my chest. the stomach got better as soon as i had a little chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side. HHAHAHAHAHAHAH

PSYCHE!!!

HOLLA AT ME LINDA

-Water

Hummingbyrd said...

i kept it Trini, and threw some tiger balm on my chest.
============
Hell to the nawwww on that.

The function was cool man.

Shyt. We all grown now!

Hummingbyrd said...

Trust Imma respond to yall.

Just wanna give it my undivided.

I might just take the comments and make it a part II post.

Jason Pollard said...

Daaam Gina - I be giving you the hot blog topics son. We need to link up and form the ultimate blog duo. Of course I agree with everything said by Mr. Rhoden-it doesn't matter how many millions these athletes make if nothing is done to revise the current structure (placing more minorities in positions of power - GMs, owners, etc.) than the slave mentality which helps capitalsim prosper contiunes to stay in place. To those that say that the goal of capitalism/the American dream is to go for yours and fuck everybody else I would have to agree with the statement, but then ask how much longer can this society last following these principles? I suspect that most people's respones would be a lot more optimistic than my own.
Although Charles Barkley continue to insist that they are not role models and should not be expected to or burdened with the problems of the black community; I would argue that their elite status allows them to contribute more to the communities that they came from more than the average Joe on the street. Nobody is asking them to save the race, but a united effort would make a huge difference in breaking the "slave" mentalilty.
I would argue that there is no longer a sense of communitty in black neighborhoods because once people leave the hood there is no commitment to returning and improving the conditions of the hood (donating money to schools. building/refurbishing houses, etc.) again this is one of the many by-products of capitalism go for self and leave everybody else behind. Kids who want to become d-boys don't think LeBron can help them because no one else has reached out to them before why would they do it now.
And for all those who don't think athletes can make a difference - look up the work Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns, did while playing - he formed a black athletes union w/Ali, Kareem, Bill Russell, etc. dedicated to social upliftment and is currently running the Amer-I-Can program which works with the gangs in California. -Good post Nin/

J!!! said...

Hell to the nawwww on that.
--------
I was kidding about the tiger balm. haha

----------
Shyt. We all grown now!
---------------
what????


did you see the flavor of love finale?

And what do you think about the books by robert green, you know, the 48 laws of power etc. ive been keeping up with his blog , Which you can find here :http://www.powerseductionandwar.com/index.phtml, and it seems interesting how alot of people live by his books.
what do you think about this whole phenomenon?

-Water

Hummingbyrd said...

@ jay....

I was talking to my homie, the harlem gemini, a couple of weeks ago and he kept mentioning all these stories about Napoleon and Byzantine this and Ceaser that and I realize that the 48 laws of power was where I learned about these fools.

There are Kernals of Truth to his works.

Yes I am familiar with them.

And yes, I will peep his blog.

Thanks ock.

~black beans and rice

Hummingbyrd said...

@ j....

I was talking to my homie, the harlem gemini, a couple of weeks ago and he kept mentioning all these stories about Napoleon and Byzantine this and Ceaser that and I realize that the 48 laws of power was where I learned about these fools.

There are Kernals of Truth to his works.

Yes I am familiar with them.

And yes, I will peep his blog.

Thanks ock.

~black beans and rice

Hummingbyrd said...

ow one night but never read his book cuz i think it's a buncha bullshit. this guy's trying to make $ off saying some outrageous shit that's gonna cause controversy.

=================
Mac Homie.
I disagree.

Rhoden clearly cares about all athletes and especially black athletes.

He is not in it to make paper off putting out controversial theories.



nothing about the professional athlete warrant's comparisions to a slave.
================
You don't think that the power dynamic is similar.

That black atheletes have a grip of paper, but very little power.
That they have very little control over the teams that they are apart of.

And don't even get "ME" on the college game, because they are even more worserest.

i've been a sports fan and athlete my whole life and do not disagree that some shit is mainey about atheltics. i got to go to a good high school i'd never be able to afford because i could ball. my junior high games were scouted. when i wanted to quit in my junior year, losing my aid n not being able to continue at my school was a serious concern. i had colleges interested in my services then got seriously hurt [torn hamstring] and saw the hopes of the next level disappear with the quickness and ultimately my competitive career in athletics end. so i know the shit is cutthroat even at lower levels. that being said i would swap places with any athlete if they've got issues with their profession.
================
I don't understand how this arguement is relevent to Rhodens thesis that Black atheltes have hella paper, but little power.

Front office power.

Coaching power.

Union Power.

Team ownership power.



to say the shit is not about money is a cop out. it is about money, everything is about money especially when you labeling someone as a slave
=======================
Read the book jay.
I say this not to be condescending, but to emphasize how Rhoden:
a. Provides the background to his story.
b. Paints the picture of PRE-INTERGRATION
Football, basketball and POST INTERGRATION BALL and how that sh*t affected the Negro Leagues.

and if you're income is millions and millions of dollars a year... you're not a slave.
=====================
Money, to a certain extent does equal power.
Power of for the individual.

Howerever until you unite with others and build institutions, you can be easily destroyed.

Its easier to take out one, than it its to take out 10, 20 or 100 like minded individuals.

money equals power, freedom and gives you all types of privileges that people without do not have. so what exactly about that conjures up ideas of slavery? and what about the worker-owner relationship? people seem to forget sports is a business.
====================
yes. And that is one of the best points that I took away from his book.

Sports is a business.

But don't say that sh*t in Texas, or Ohio or Cal, Or Miami, or or or.

Because as far as the colleges are concerned, its about an "education".

But you are right.

"Business Never Person" EPMD.


my boss at target tells me what the fuck to do and i'm not seeing millions a year, and i also get fired if i fuck shit up. that's life, not sports.
=================
Atheletes have the power and potential to affect the lives of many more people than they do.

Rhodens arguement is not about people like my momma or my daddy or you and your target job or my brother with his FIRST job, that has a pension, it is about people LIKE JORDAN with unprecedented wealth and potential.

"They professional and collegiate sport system is designed for them to be out for self."

America is to be designed out for self, everything is.
==============

That makes it okay?

I gotta cosgin on that.

Because guess what dude.

The people who have POWER IN THIS COUNTRY, have not achieved it ALONE and they are not maintaining it alone.

Peep the national government.

Your local governement.

Peep your favorite record label.



Charles Barkley said it best: "I'm not a role model". Treal talk.



Stop looking to athletes and stars for answers and shit, it's not in their job description to set a role model for your kids.
==================
I guess we have differnt expectations for ourselves and for people that look like us.

Do for yourself. Plus I know from a first hand view, a lotta kids in the streets and shit could give a fuck about sports.
==============
well yeah.

These kids are trill.

We been talked about that.

That don't mean I ain't gonna put myself inna position to help the ones that can use it and who want it.

If you finna to bang and flip drugs, LeBron can't do shit for you.
=================
Based on the way you framed it, of course you have a point.

But the bottom line, is young bucks, and for that matter, young buck momma's ain't exposed to shit.

And trust, you expose a momma to something, you improve the quality of live for the whole fam.



Finally, as someone who's isn't seeing the kinda money that athletes are the last thing I wanna hear is someone trying to explain to me that athletes are slaves. What the fuck am I then?
=====================

Not the same.

TO. OJ. MJ. Kobe. Shaq.
List goes on and on, these cats got more power, a bigger platform, more media attention.

Just think about HOW Muhammed Ali WAS when he was Talking that Yak.

What if we had 10 Muhammed Ali's.

It would be a different world fam.

N*ggas ain't trynna rock the boat though.

I gotta lot to say on this topic, I'll stop wasting space though.
=================
You never waste space here fam.

In fact, your post ALLWAYS make me laugh and make me think, which is exactly WHAT I TRY AND DO WHEN I write so I am glad you came through.

Hummingbyrd said...

>> That Black Athletes have lost their connection with the community.

What community? The Black(tm) Community? Their local community meaning the commnity they went to school to get the fuck out of? In one breath, people bitch about altheletes when they "keep it real(tm)" and almost get run the fuck over like Steven Jackson, then in the very next breath, bitch because millionaires aren't doing enough for a "community".

There is nothing communal(or maybe there is, which is the real problem) about these "communities". If it were a community, all the neighborhood kids would be sitting around doing their homework together after school(like many other minorites with the success stereotype instead of the failure one i.e., asian& middle easterners). If it were a community, people would clean up some of these abandoned lots and sidewalks that I have to drive past everyday to and from work.

AI(the posterchild for this bullshit talk) and the rest can't learn for your dumb kids.
===================
I am not sure what point you are trying to make here.

He can provide for communities monetarily but its certainly possible it'll get wasted due to underutilization.
====================
Please clarify.

Talk shit on Athletes all day but the bottom line is, he's probably doing more for the kids than their asshole parents.
=====================
Are you saying that AI does more for
Black Children than black parents.

Interesting.

What do you base that on?



Riiiight. As if America wasn't founded on everyone being "out for self". I think they call it Capitalism.
=====================
We.Are.Not.Going.To.Talk.About.What.America.
Was.Founded.On.

Oh, and jg, my brain hurts reading that. 4s and 8s and Ys instead of the correct letter, doesn't make it any easier to read or faster to type.
======================
And speaking of people that spend a
significant amount of their disposable INCOME AND TIME ON BLACK CHILDREN, your
boy
JG is that dude.

There is a lot of anger, resentment
and dismissiveness in your tone.

Do you have something constructive to say?

~r

Hummingbyrd said...

a. it doesn't matter how many millions these athletes make if nothing is done to revise the current structure (placing more minorities in positions of power - GMs, owners, etc.).
=================
Well duh!!!!!!

To those that say that the goal of capitalism/the American dream is to go for yours and fuck everybody else I would have to agree with the statement, but then ask how much longer can this society last following these principles?
=====================
We don't care about that.


Although Charles Barkley continue to insist that they are not role models and should not be expected to or burdened with the problems of the black community; I would argue that their elite status allows them to contribute more to the communities that they came from more than the average Joe on the street.
====================
Of course.

Nobody is asking them to save the race, but a united effort would make a huge difference in breaking the "slave" mentalilty.
========================
Well duh!!!!!!!


I would argue that there is no longer a sense of communitty in black neighborhoods because once people leave the hood there is no commitment to returning and improving the conditions of the hood (donating money to schools. building/refurbishing houses, etc.) again this is one of the many by-products of capitalism go for self and leave everybody else behind.
=====================
That would mean having expectations for yourself and others.


Kids who want to become d-boys don't think LeBron can help them because no one else has reached out to them before why would they do it now.
====================
Yeah. Well. That is what happens when we move out the hood.


And for all those who don't think athletes can make a difference - look up the work Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns, did while playing - he formed a black athletes union w/Ali, Kareem, Bill Russell, etc. dedicated to social upliftment and is currently running the Amer-I-Can program which works with the gangs in California.
==================
Well. Jase.
That would be being productive.

When you gone do a guest blog post?!?!?!

Jason Pollard said...

I'll do one whenever you want me to- I just gotta learn how to do the fancy stuff things you do with pictures and text. Thanks for the feedback dun.

beautyinbaltimore said...

I need to read booth of these books.

Hummingbyrd said...

@ Jase...Er.

It ain't fancy first.

second.

You give me the text and I will find the flicks and what not.

Hummingbyrd said...

@ BIB

Read 'em girl.

Read'em before reading is illegal!

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