For some things there’s a benefit to seeing them as either black or white. No gray means there’s little ambiguity; something either is or it isn’t. The Sunday, January 10, 2016, edition of The Washington Post produced a piece by Donald Yee, a partner with a company that represents professional athletes. In fact, Tom Brady is one of their clients. The piece is titled, “The color of money in the NCAA” and paints a black and white picture that should have many shades of gray. This is obvious to anyone who even causally reads the piece.
Yee points out the disparaging monetary gain between university administrators and college athletes. Since administrators are mostly white and over half of college basketball and football players are black (64% and 57%, respectively as reported by Yee), his focus hones in on the black players and the white administrators. That makes for a nice black-white issue so that any differences between athletes and administrators can now be conveniently lumped into the grossly oversimplified picture of injustice against black players.
“college sports exploits unpaid black players while white administrators get rich.”
Apparently The Washington Post will jump at anything that hints at racism by looking for issues related to skin color at every turn to further this narrative. The article encapsulates the issue by stating “college sports exploits unpaid black players while white administrators get rich.”
What’s lost in this story are all of the other athletes. Why are they different than the black athlete? They get “paid” the exact same as the black players. I feel for athletes of all colors, but let’s just lump them into the single category called athletes, without the race baiting. It seems borderline racist for Yee to focus on the color of the athletes skin when athletes of all races share in the same compensation disparity. All athletes should at the very least get a stipend; perhaps a set amount of money for each game. If Yee wanted to have a stronger racist story, he should have focused the article on the administrators being mostly white in a heavily mixed race environment. That’s likely a worthy cause but Yee only gives it a secondary thought.
Yee does point out an historical and uplifting turning point that opened up opportunities for black athletes in 1966. Coach Don Haskins took Texas Western to the college basketball championship game with all black starters and beat the all white University of Kentucky powerhouse lead by coach Adolph Rupp. The movie, Glory Road is an excellent sports movie that captures their championship drive and the extreme hardships along the way.
That game was black and white.