Crunch Time

By Bruce Edwards
Updated: January 9, 2005

LEXINGTON, KY—I would guess the age range between NFL Players is between 23-35 years old. With that in mind, how could one ever think they have one social conscious bone in their tattooed covered bodies? NFL players and other professional athletes in that age group are poster child products of the “I’m gonna get mine” generation. Many brothers in this generation got theirs by selling drugs, many got theirs by getting an education and finding a good paying job, and a very select few got theirs by playing professional sports. The point is they (most professional athletes) are concerned for themselves individually not for other players as a group, or black people as a group for that matter.

As reported by BASN Black Box, a book by former NFL player Anthony E. Prior points out that the NFL and team owners run a plantation and the players are slaves.

This is an old story and an old situation no one can or will do anything about. Even with that said, I wish Brother Prior much success with the book.

Players are not slaves. Players are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and some several million dollars a year to play. In the NFL, even practice squad players no one ever hears about will earn a salary enviable to most corporate executives. Slaves are not paid and have no choice or say-so about their situation. Prior and his supporters want the two things no business owner will ever relinquish… power and control. If every NFL owner was African American nothing would change.

The only way things will change is if the players change it and that will never happen. A few years ago Warren Sapp and Keyshun Johnson made some “Slave/Plantation” remarks about the NFL. No one including other players commented about the inference. Keyshun and Warren Sapp are sound bite players the media doesn’t take seriously about serious things.

Shut-up, play football, get rich. Those three things are the current mind set philosophies of professional athletes. Beginning in high school, they are encouraged to stay away from things socially controversial …don’t want to mess up your career.

For the fifty-eleventh umpteenth time, it’s about the money. Keeping it, controlling it, and using it to acquire even more money. In case you haven’t noticed the NFL is in America and American history is all about one group making money from the work of another group.

If on a Monday every NFL player quit because of the slave/plantation operation of the league… By Tuesday’s practice every roster spot would be filled by other players for a fraction of the salaries, the fans will cheer for the new players, the league would survive, no, the league would not skip a beat, and the players who quit would have to find a real job, something many of them are not qualified to do…and they know it.

Face it fans… When the hand is out, the mouth is shut. Professional athletes are not going to speak out about the wrongs in society never mind the wrongs in their particular sport. Stuart Scott, James Brown, and Greg Gumble are not going to publicly speak out about the inequities and discrimination in the professional sports broadcasting industry. Sports and media celebrities are no different than the black corporate executive who won’t speak up and speak out publicly on the inequities and discrimination in business.

In this day in America, people, especially successful black people, are afraid of losing what they have acquired if they bad mouth the entity that made all they have possible. People work hard and don’t want to mess up their situation. Even the actor Samuel L. Jackson, as popular as he is, as wealthy as he is, would not flat out say there is racism in Hollywood when asked that simple question by Dr. Louis Gates in a recently aired documentary. It’s every man/player for himself. I got mine, you get yours.

Bruce (I ain’t got nothing to lose) Edwards