Nation Sports Editor: NCAA ‘Rank Exploitation,’ A ‘Sham’

Dave Zirin, Sports Editor for the Nation magazine, ripped the NCAA as “rank exploitation” and a “sham” on Saturday’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC.

“Who are we really tuning in to watch? Who is wearing the corporate logos as they run up and down the court? It’s the players, that’s who we’re watching, and yet they do not get paid for it. And so, we all become party to this kind of rank exploitation, Melissa, we become collectively corrupted as — myself included, as we watch this thing so assiduously. And I’ll tell you what’s so disturbing about it to me is that when you dispense the niceties of it all, when we stop trying to speak in politically correct language, what we’re looking at is the organized theft of black wealth, and if we want to talk about it more broadly, the organized theft of youth wealth” he stated.

Zirin added, “I would much rather have 18 to 22-year-old kids with those billions of dollars in their pockets, because they’ll at least spend it in their communities. They ‘re not going to stick it in some offshore accounts in some tax shelter or in some Haiti sweatshop, and that money never gets circulated back in our country.”

Zirin also discussed the retirement of Chris Borland, saying “what made Chris Borland’s retirement so electric is that he’s doing this in advance of getting concussions. Because he is saying, as a history major, as someone who earned his degree from the University of Wisconsin, he is actually applying what he learned at school. And you see a lot of people in the NFL…punishing him for actually applying what he learned. It’s like when Kain Colter the quarterback for Northwestern, attempted to organize a union, he did that because he took a labor law class at Northwestern and said, ‘wait a minute, my labor situation’s pretty messed up. What I’m learning applies to my life as a student athlete’ and he was punished and attacked for actually applying what he learned. That’s the big sham in all of this, and what you want is if there’s really going to be an educational component, you want people to be able to use that education, and that’s the biggest sham of all.”

He concluded by expressing concern that the NFL would be “poor kids, disproportionately black, bashing their brains for wealthy fans.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett