Bill Maher Criticizes NCAA For Making Billions Off Of Unpaid Black Labor
Comedian Bill Maher has never been one to bite his tongue, especially about issues concerning racism in America.
Leave it to comedian Bill Maher to inject humor into the truth in such a way that it accelerates the bite on those who are trying to find the opposite side of the argument. Bill Maher goes over the top at times and there are cases where he’s even been borderline insulting to black people. But in a recent tweet about the NCAA, he nailed himself a bull’s eye.
Bill Maher jumped onto Twitter to express his personal interest in March Madness, the annual NCAA tournament that has recently surpassed all other professional sports leagues in the amount of ad revenue they earn every year (over a billion for March Madness alone). Bill Maher cited the obvious: That the NCAA uses the amateur status of athletes to protect2014-Bill-Maher itself from financial or educational accountability. It is also not forced to deal with the same labor rights issues that impact other industries of the same size.
Here is what Bill Maher said on Twitter:
March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on: making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) March 22, 2014
The comment obviously got the attention of the media and also represents another strike against the argument that the NCAA is losing more and more each day. A huge lawsuit has been filed against the league on behalf of former athletes who were upset that the NCAA has long used their images to earn billions from videogame sales without their permission.
Additionally, there is a growing understanding of the vast plethora of financial opportunities that the league possesses to make money from the biggest sporting event in America outside the Super Bowl. But unlike the Super Bowl, March Madness lasts for several weeks, which makes the financial gravy train even deeper.
To offer a basis of comparison and context for Bill Maher’s remarks, get this: According to Kantar Media, this year’s March Madness earned more money than the playoffs for the NBA and major league baseball COMBINED. The players in baseball sign contracts worth several hundred million dollars and the league still makes a great deal of money. Can you imagine how profitable they would be if they only had to pay their athletes with a scholarship?
Some say that you can’t put a price on the value of a college education. As a Finance professor who’s taught at the college level for the last 20 years, I can say this isn’t true. We put a price on tuition every semester, and it’s usually less than $40,000 per year. Also, if a college education is so valuable, then why not allow the players to have labor rights like the rest of us, negotiate a fair market salary and pay their own tuition out of that?
This article was written by Dr. Boyce Watkins and he, along with Bill, make some very valid points.
Do you agree? Is the NCAA a corporate slave master to black athletes?
Image via WENN