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Race and College Sports

The last major bastion of slavery in America – college sports. College Football and College Basketball are major revenue drivers for the schools. Being part of a major conference, even for a school at the bottom of the standings still means $8-10 million revenue in TV Rights and ticket sales. The big money from football has caused major realignments of traditional leagues – resulting in major realignments of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Big East as schools have fled to the big(ger) money conferences.

Schools winning the Championship series can garner over $50 million in revenue counting TV Rights, Ticket sales, and the ale of licensed material. This is BIG Business…

Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence.

With the money made from college sports increasing every year, the way colleges treat their athletes has become controversial.

That’s because college sports is a tremendously lucrative business for everyone but the athletes. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) will receive $7.3 billion from ESPN for the right to broadcast the seven games of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) between 2014 and 2026, and $11 billionfrom CBS and Turner Sports to broadcast “March Madness” over the next 14 years.

Individual colleges also make out well: The University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team’s trip to the Final Four this year, for example, brought more than $8 million in revenue to the universities of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Each of the “Big 5” conferences will make an estimated $50 millionfrom the college football playoffs this year.

And none of this counts the money made from concessions, merchandise and licensing fees.

Meanwhile, most college athletes are “paid” with scholarships that cover only tuition, room, board, books and fees — although in 2015, the NCAA allowed Division I universities the option of increasing this to pay the full cost of attendance. After adding up the time spent on practice, training and games, college athletes often “work” the equivalent of full-time hours for the universities they play for…

 

Most blacks want college athletes to be paid. Most whites don’t

There’s evidence that he’s right. In survey after survey, strong national majorities oppose paying college athletes. In March 2015, for example, anHBO Real Sports/Marist Poll found that 65 percent of Americans do not think college athletes in top men’s football and basketball programs should be paid.

But these attitudes vary significantly by race. In every survey to date, blacks are far more likely to support paying college athletes when compared to whites. For instance, in the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study(CCES), 53 percent of African Americans backed paying college athletes–more than doubling the support expressed by whites (22 percent).

Racial divisions on controversial issues, of course, are not new. Even on ostensibly race-neutral policies like welfare, health care, and law enforcement, strong differences in opinion exist between blacks and whites. Decades of research have found (here, here and here) that some of those gaps in opinion come from racial prejudice against blacks. When whites believe that a policy mainly helps blacks, their opinions on that policy are inevitably colored by their feelings towards blacks as a group.

Could some of that gap grow from racism?

Could racial prejudice also affect attitudes toward paying college athletes? There are good reasons to believe that it could.

According to NCAA data from 2014, blacks constitute the majority of players in college football and basketball, the two sports that most people think of when they think of college athletics. Given this reality, it would be strange if questions about paying college athletes did not conjure up images of young black men in the minds of survey respondents.

To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES.

In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

The more negatively a white respondent felt about blacks, the more they opposed paying college athletes.

To check our findings’ validity, we also conducted an experiment. Before we asked white respondents whether college athletes should be paid, we showed one group pictures of young black men with stereotypical African American first and last names. We showed another group no pictures at all.

As you can see in the figure below, whites who were primed by seeing pictures of young black men were significantly more likely to say they opposed paying college athletes. Support dropped most dramatically among whites who expressed the most resent towards blacks as a group.

When we talk about paying college athletes, we’re talking about race 

In other words, the discussion about paying college athletes is implicitly a discussion about race. As the representative of nearly 1,200 schools, conferences and affiliate organizations, the NCAA should consider how much it wants to base its policies on public opinion that may be tainted by racial prejudice.

Kevin Wallsten is an associate professor in the department of political science at California State University atLong Beach. Tatishe M. Nteta is an associate professor in the department of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lauren A. McCarthy is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
 
 

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The Racism in Australia – Adam Goodes Joins Retailer David Jones

Adam Goodes is a star of Australian Rules Football, and has been awarded the league’s highest honor twice. Adam is one of the most successful people in Australia with an Aboriginal background. Over his last year of playing, racist Australian fans have peppered him with racist curses and chants. Goodes has retired from Football, and has been hired as a Brand Ambassador for leading Australian retailer David Jones.

Not without the racists piping up about it…

David Jones flooded with abuse after Adam Goodes announced as ambassador

The rugged looking Adam Goodes looks to me to be a better model than the usual hyper skinny boy types employed in the fashion industry. I would think most men would relate more to a guy with a few dings.

David Jones’ Facebook page has been flooded with abusive and racist posts after former Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes was unveiled as the retailer’s latest brand ambassador.

The messages, which include remarks about indigenous Australians and dozens of boos, began appearing on Sunday soon after the retailer posted a campaign video featuring the former Australian of the Year.

Goodes is to star in the David Jones “It’s In You” campaign as one of six ambassadors, including model Jessica Gomes and You Am I frontman Tim Rogers.

He will also advise the company on reconciliation issues and its corporate social responsibility program.

“Didn’t really like David Jones as a store or chain but can be sure I will never set foot or spend a cent in there now,” a Facebook post from Michael Tierney, of Brisbane, said.

A David Jones spokeswoman reaffirmed the chain’s support of Goodes following the abusive posts, most of which Fairfax Media has opted not to publish.

“David Jones is proud to have Adam Goodes, a powerful and inspirational Australian, join its family of ambassadors,” the spokeswoman said.

“We have received significant positive feedback from our staff, customers, vendors and other stakeholders regarding Adam’s appointment and our latest brand campaign.”

The ambassadorship, the result of months of negotiations between the retailer and the two-time Brownlow medallist, is Goodes’ first new role since he retired last month.

Goodes has since revealed that he had contemplated leaving earlier, amid the booing controversy that plagued his final season.

However, the 35-year-old told the Swans’ Club Champion dinner that the outpouring of support after he sat out the round 18 clash against the Adelaide Crows at the SCG changed his mind.

“To see the supporters, our supporters, who have stuck by me for the longest part of my journey and have always been there to support me and this football club – that’s the reason why I wanted to come back,” he said.

By mid-afternoon David Jones’ Facebook page told a similar story, as supporters flooded the Goodes post with messages of support.

The most popular comments on the thread were overwhelmingly in support of the AFL super star and the department store by 2pm.

“All anyone has to do is read the comments of this video to know that Adam Goodes holds more class, patience, and bravery than everyone [sic] of these people seizing on a pack mentality to let their racism fly,” commented Josh Forward. “Great campaign, amazing ambassador.”

The massive swing of opinion may have been driven by several media reports and high profile personalities drawing attention to the abusive posts throughout the day.

Media commentator and author Tracey Spicer posted a link ot the DJs’ Facebook page on her own public Facebook site and encouraged her followers to post their approval of the new brand ambassador.

 

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Story Deepens on Texas Football Players Who Hit Ref

This one has taken a strange twist. Shortly after punishment was announced for the two Texas High Schoolers shown in the shocking video below, one or both of them told the authorities that they had been told to hit the ref by a coach!

Texas coach accused of ordering players to hit referee resigns

Mack Breed, the assistant football coach from John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas, who is accused of directing two players to target a referee during a game, has resigned, Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian Woods said Thursday.

Head football coach Gary Gutierrez spoke during the University Interscholastic League hearing, both defending Breed and deriding his “poor judgment call.”

“I love coach Breed. He was on staff already when I became head coach. He is an upstanding man, he is a man of integrity,” Gutierrez said, but “he violated the sanctity of what coaches are” by telling the players to hit a game official.

Breed joined the coaching staff in 2010. He played quarterback at John Jay before attending theUniversity of Missouri, where he played safety. On Thursday, Breed’s lawyer issued the coach’s first public statement on the incident, saying “some people are unfairly blaming one man, Mack Breed, for everything that happened at that game.”

According to Breed’s version of events, after a black John Jay wide receiver was ejected from the game, another black player told Breed that umpire Robert Watts had said to the player, “Throw the f***ing ball at me again, n****r.”

Watts, through his attorneys, has repeatedly denied uttering racial slurs toward the players, says he is considering lawsuits and is urging criminal prosecutions of the assistant coach and the two players.

“As a black male, nothing offended Mack Breed more than being called a racial epithet, except someone in a position of authority calling his players racial epithets. The slur was heard by multiple players, some of whom were not involved in the hit,” Breed’s statement said.

The player that reported hearing the slur was later tossed from the game for throwing a punch even though, according to the statement, a white player on the opposing team had allegedly punched the wide receiver multiple times and avoided ejection.

Describing the atmosphere on the John Jay sideline as “a powder keg,” Breed said that another John Jay coach was penalized for yelling at the officials about the alleged racist comments. Gutierrez also notified the officials about the slurs, according to Breed, but was told the officials wouldn’t use such language.

“Succumbing to the racially charged atmosphere, Coach Breed let his anger get the best of him and he made some regrettable comments. Witnesses can’t agree on what the comments were, but they were interpreted by two players to mean ‘hit the referee.’ The witnesses agree that Breed never explicitly told them to hit the referee, except for Michael Moreno, whose story continues to evolve,” the statement said, referring to one of the two players in question.

Singling out the teen, Breed said “Moreno paints himself as a saint on television” when he was actually “out of control” during the game. Not only did Moreno allegedly allow another player to be ejected for Moreno’s hit on Watts, he flagrantly hit a kneeling quarterback — a no-no in football — on the next play, according to the coach.

“His behavior is exactly what one would expect from a rogue player blaming a coach for the player’s actions,” Breed’s statement said.

Breed concluded his statement by saying he “feels that he could have handled the situation better. For that reason, Mack has submitted his resignation and will move forward taking responsibility for his role in the events that occurred. Mack never intended for the kids to hit or hurt the referee, but the result was the same.”

Jay Downs, an attorney for Watts, took the stand, reiterating another Watts attorney’s assertion that the allegations of racism are false. Watts, who has provided a statement to law enforcement, is suffering from post-concussion syndrome and didn’t attend the hearing, the attorney said. Doctors have yet to clear him to return to refereeing.

News of Breed’s resignation came a day after the players, who intentionally hit an official during a game this month and were suspended from school, attended a disciplinary hearing.

Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, said that because Moreno and Victor Rojas are minors, no information about the hearing would be released.

This 1955…or 2015? This racial name calling went on in sports until the late 60’s, when it pretty much ceased due to pressure by the fans, coaches, and leagues who decided not to tolerate it anymore. The only response in the 50’s and early 60’s was to walk away. The coach – in exposing the two boys to punishments is wrong.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in You Know It's Bad When...

 

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Concussions Likely Cause of Degenerative Brain Disease in Football Players

This one has been stewing for a while. The league began to take things more seriously a few years ago, banning certain types of hits, and upgrading helmets and rules.

What is terrifying about this though is that even people who played Pop Warner football as kids may suffer this level of brain damage.

New: 87 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease

A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.

In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.

Forty percent of those who tested positive were the offensive and defensive linemen who come into contact with one another on every play of a game, according to numbers shared by the brain bank with FRONTLINE. That finding supports past research suggesting that it’s the repeat, more minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football that may pose the greatest risk to players, as opposed to just the sometimes violent collisions that cause concussions.

But the figures come with several important caveats, as testing for the disease can be an imperfect process. Brain scans have been used to identify signs of CTE in living players, but the disease can only be definitively identified posthumously. As such, many of the players who have donated their brains for testing suspected that they had the disease while still alive, leaving researchers with a skewed population to work with.

Even with those caveats, the latest numbers are “remarkably consistent” with pastresearch from the center suggesting a link between football and long-term brain disease, said Dr. Ann McKee, the facility’s director and chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” said McKee, who runs the lab as part of a collaboration between the VA and BU. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the NFL said, “We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources. We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

The latest update from the brain bank, which in 2010 received a $1 million research grant from the NFL, comes at a time when the league is able to boast measurable progress in reducing head injuries. In its 2015 Health & Safety Report, the NFL said that concussions in regular season games fell 35 percent over the past two seasons, from 173 in 2012 to 112 last season. A separate analysis by FRONTLINE that factors in concussions reported by teams during the preseason and the playoffs shows a smaller decrease of 28 percent.

Off the field, the league has revised safety rules to minimize head-to-head hits, and invested millions into research. In April, it also won final approval for a potential $1 billion settlement with roughly 5,000 former players who have sued it over past head injuries.

Still, at the start of a new season of play, the NFL once again finds itself grappling to turn the page on the central argument in the class-action lawsuit: that for years it sought to conceal a link between football and long-term brain disease.

The latest challenge to that effort came two weeks ago with the trailer for a forthcoming Hollywood film about the neuropathologist who first discovered CTE. When the trailer was released, it quickly went viral, leaving the NFL bracing for a new round of scrutiny over past efforts to deny any such connection.

The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of FamerJunior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Indianapolis Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.

While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.

From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”

In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2015 in News

 

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Calling BS on Texas Football Players Who Hit Ref

These kids are so far out of bounds it is ridiculous…

Texas High School Football Players Allege Referee Used Racial Slurs Before Hit

The two Texas high school football players who were suspended on Monday for targeting and hitting a referee are now alleging that the referee directed racial slurs at them prior to the hit, according to The Associated Press.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Northside Independent School District Superintendent Brian T. Woods said that the two players from John Jay High School will have a disciplinary hearing, but the district will also file a complaint about the racial slur to the Texas Association of Sports Officials.

District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez also announced on Tuesday that Mack Breed, an assistant coach on John Jay’s football team, has been placed on administrative leave for his role in the incident. Breed, a 2004 graduate of John Jay, is alleged to have said “this guy needs to pay for cheating us” before his two players made the hit.

The district has condemned Breed’s alleged comments, saying that his “suggestion was inappropriate and could have led to the incident.”

The incident happened last Friday during a game between John Jay High School and Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, Texas. With approximately a minute left in the game, two unidentified John Jay players rammed into the referee over a supposed “bad call.” Prior to the hit, two other John Jay players had been ejected from the game on separate plays.

Both players involved in the hit were immediately ejected, as well.

The referee, identified by TexasHSFootball as Robert Watts, has been officiating high school football games for 14 years. Although ESPN reported that Watts was seeking to press charges, Watts told TexasHSFootball that he won’t be rushing into anything.

I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news,” Watts said on Monday. “Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date.”

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in You Know It's Bad When...

 

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Neil deGrasse Tyson on racism in Australia

Australia has some problems with race. It isn’t new, and partially stems from a previously monolithic population. The treatment of the Aboriginal population is a historical disgrace.

Neil deGrasse Tyson uses science to destroy the age-old racist “monkey” slur once and for all

Adam Goodes, the Australian rules footballer jeered by crowds for his celebratory Indigenous dancing, became the topic of global conversation this month. Many of these conversations forced Australians to reexamine the country’s race problem, and shortly thereafter, a social media movement under the hashtag #IstandwithAdam was born.

On Monday, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on a panel for the Australian Broadcasting Association’s Q&A where he was asked to comment on Goodes and race relations today.

Tyson, who said he wasn’t at license to speak for Australia, offered, instead, a “cosmic” perspective on the news story.

“What we do in math is you separate the variables and what’s happening is all the variables are jumbled together and people are reacting but if you separate the variables, it can be revealing,” he said.

Tyson continued:

“For example, he is celebrating his score at the end of a game. Correct? I mean, during the game and he does it in a way that’s different from everyone else gesturally and, to me, that’s a form of freedom of expression, a freedom of speech. If you don’t like that, at some point you have to confess to yourself you’re not a fan of freedom of speech and so if you are going to do that, that’s a different country from what I understand Australia claims to be. That’s A.”

The astrophysicist then addressed an incident that occurred during the AFL’s Indigenous Round in 2013 in which a 13-year-old was escorted from the grounds after calling Goodes an “ape.” Tyson theorized that this was learned behavior — that the girl had likely picked up this slur from “an environment where it’d been said before.”

A recent news story supports Tyson’s theory: The Independent reported Sunday that the mother of the 13-year-old was defending the usage of the racial slur and asking Goodes to apologize for singling out her daughter. She called his behavior “ridiculous.”

“You know what she’s done, she’s selectively chosen things about apes that she thinks apply to him and not other things that would apply to people who are white,” Tyson said. “For example, apes have hair all over their bodies. You have never seen a black person with hair all over their bodies. Black people are some of the least hairiest people in this world! Who are the hairiest? It’s white people! With hair on the back, out of the neck. And so if you focussed on hair then you could call white people monkeys, right. It’s all racist conduct.”

Adam Goodes, Australian Rules footballer. Goodes’ father is of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry; his mother is an Indigenous Australian (Adnyamathanha and Narungga).

For those who have never seen it, this is the Traditional Maori War Dance performed by New Zealanders. This one, involving several hundred soldiers to honor their war dead in Afghanistan. Yeah, I know New Zealand is a different country, but it tells you something about cultural adoption and assimilation…

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Giant Negros

 

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Former NFL Player Now Farms for Charity

After my last post on idiots behaving badly on a NYC Subway, it’s easy to lose faith.

Then there is this inspiring story.

Why a star football player traded NFL career for a tractor

LOUISBURG, N.C. – At one point number 60, Jason Brown, was one of the best centers in the NFL.

At one point he had a five-year, $37 million contract with the St. Louis Rams.

And at one point he decided it was all meaningless – and just walked away from football.

“My agent told me, ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,'” said Brown. “And I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No I’m not. No I’m not.'”

So what could possibly trump the NFL?

You wouldn’t believe.

Jason Brown quit football to be a plain, old farmer — even though he’d never farmed a day a in his life.

Asked how he learned to even know what to do, Brown said:

“Get on the Internet. Watch Youtube videos.”

He learned how to farm from Youtube.

Thanks to Youtube and some good advice from other farmers here in Louisburg, N.C., this week Jason finished harvesting his first, a five-acre plot of sweet potatoes.

“When you see them pop up out of the ground, man, it’s the most beautiful thing you could ever see,” said Brown. He said he has never felt more successful.

“Not in man’s standards,” said Brown. “But in God’s eyes.”

But God cares about the NFL, right? There are people praying to him on the field all the time.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of people praying out there,” said Brown. “But, when I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service.”

See, his plan for this farm, which he calls “First Fruits Farm,” is to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. Today it’s all five acres–100,000 pounds–of sweet potatoes.

“It’s unusual for a grower to grow a crop just to give away,” said Rebecca Page, who organizes food collection for the needy. “And that’s what Jason has done. And he’s planning to do more next year.”

Brown has 1,000 acres here, which could go a long way toward eliminating hunger in this neck of North Carolina.

“Love is the most wonderful currency that you can give anyone,” said Brown.

“Are you sure you played in the NFL?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Because I feel like cuddling you right now.”

“Don’t do that!” he said.

Brown may have left the NFL, but apparently holding is still a penalty.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Giant Negros, Men, The Post-Racial Life

 

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