Athletic Enslavement: Legal Slavery in America?

Serena Canegan

The Paw Print

Although slavery has been abolished in America, I believe it still exists mentally, physically, and in the form of deceitful, hidden agendas. I see the world of athletics as a way of enslaving blacks to be the entertainers of whites. It is not just racism, but also a way for the high-class society to watch the low-class society trying to make it to the top. The members of the high-class society enjoy seeing the lower classes fighting amongst themselves, hoping they will eventually fail or lose hope and give up.  Their top priority is to keep the athletes, the so-called lower class, under hidden restricted obligations, so they cannot gain the opportunity to speak out and make a difference. I strongly believe the world of athletics is the new form of slavery.

Slavery still exists and it is still affecting African Americans, mostly in sports.  It is clear our athletes are paid for the severe toils they are doing. On the other hand, they have a lack of freedom. Athletes are under hidden restrictions and subliminally controlled by their teams, sport endorsement contracts, agents, and managers. They have a limited amount of freedom in the choices they make for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Being athletically involved, I saw how black people were athletically inclined, dominating the once restricted world of sports. In America in the 1900’s to 1930’s, blacks and whites had their separate leagues, until the discovery of how athletic blacks were. Black athletes have long dominated the major American pro sports.

For example, according to the 2013 NBA Player Census, Blacks, with a percentage of 72.2%, dominated the entire NBA, while Whites were second with 20.2%, and Hispanics and Mixed were tied for third with 3.7%.  NFL figures are similar.

Black athletes show their dominance outside of the United States. One area of major dominance is in Olympic track and field, where many of the previous and present world records for each event was or is currently held by a black person. Usain Bolt from Jamaica is the perfect example; he is the current Olympic and world record holder of the 100 and 200 meter races.

Kenya’s David Rudisha and Noah Ngemy are both Olympic record holders at 800 and 1500 meters, and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele is the Olympic record holder at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Tirunesh Dibaba and Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia are Olympic record holders of the 10,000 meter and marathon races, while Melaine Walker of Jamaica is the Olympic 400 meter hurdles record holder.

In spite of the way black athletes have dominated on the field, they are still largely absent as owners and managers. Within the United States, a number of African Americans have tried to buy NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball teams. Only two became majority owner, while others became limited partners, and some invested in other pro sports.

I see this as a problem and the cause of the existence of slavery in the athletics world. The athletes have worked very hard and gained social power by means of their athletic accomplishments, which I see as a perfect platform to speak out against their lack of freedom and to stand up for what is right.

Why did Hitler get away with using the 1936 Olympics to promote his political agenda, and why did John Carlos and Tommie Smith pay such a high price for raising their hands and bowing their heads in silence on the podium during the 1968 Olympics? The comparison between what happened in the 1936 Olympics and what happened in 1968 tells me it is all right for a white man or white nation to stand up and speak about what they believe is right. As for a black nation, they should keep their mouths shut and not show any sign of protest or rebellion.

None has tried to do what the great Muhammad Ali did with his fame and social power. He stood up for what he believed was right and refused to be controlled by the boxing organizing committee and the government of his country. As Ali himself said, “No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slave masters over dark people the world over.”

Blacks are so blind to what the organizing committee is doing. The IOC is controlling the blacks, making them think that it is ok to use their Olympic accomplishments of fame and social power to get to the heights of the whites. It is very clear that no black Olympian is trying to pick up where John Carlos and Tommie Smith left off. They have focused on making as much money as they could and living the so-called good life the whites have portrayed to them while trying to stay in the game as long as they could.

Just as slave owners during the time of harsh slavery would strive to own the fittest slaves, the athletic world strives to control the fittest athletes. Slaves were often sold and bought based on their domestic skills, strength, physical fitness for labor, and even for sexual use by their owners.

I see this as just the same as when athletes are being sold and bought by professional teams for who is the best at his or her sport, in terms of speed, strength, and coordination. The American NFL scouting combine is the perfect example for this claim, where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts. The way I see the entire procedure is as a shopping spree for the coaches, general managers, and scouts. This form of shopping for athletes and their lack of freedom from their teams and endorsement contracts is athletic enslavement. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet