The $40Million Dollar Slave Syndrome

reg gie

New York Times sports columnist, WILLIAM C. RHODEN, has done the knowledge on the history of Blacks and their impact on the landscape of the culture that is American sports. His book titled, ‘Forty Million Dollar Slaves’ gets it’s name from a statement that LARRY JOHNSON made after signing a lucrative contract for the then Charlotte Hornets. RHODEN opens up an important argument that even with the wealth and prosperity that some of these current athletes have achieved there has been little or no social progress gained from their exploits. RHODEN examines the social impact of MICHAEL JORDAN outside of his commercial potential.

I have to side with RHODEN on his argument that current athletes have no moral or social value landmarks that force them to be proactive in their community outside of the obligations that the franchise that pays them requires. There are tons of reasons for this, mainly, the breakdown of the family structure. With more women raising men by themselves we are seeing more men that think like women. Consumerism is valued much more than entrepreneurial ambition. The lynchpin, if you would excuse the term, of any progressive community is education. Without knowledge there will not be any empowerment. Education of athletes is eschewed for the most talented, therefore we create a class of wealthy imbeciles.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

17 Responses to “The $40Million Dollar Slave Syndrome”

  1. emme Says:

    I agree that men raised by women are more likely to think like women, but how dare you say that equals materialism over entrepreneurship. Black women have been hustling for years, from Beauty shop owners down to the Candy Lady or the Avon Lady.That’s another problem with men being raised by women: they’re too up close. You see our struggle, but somehow you don’t gain the insight to respect it.

  2. RD Says:

    Doesnt that assessment of Athletes seem mightily applicable/similiar to Hip Hop artists? Tell me I’m wrong, because I’m not. A good example is the sport of bob sledding. In bob sledding there are 2 distinct positions: pushers and drivers. As you can probably speculate the pusher position is subordinate and inferior to the driver position. Majority of Athletes and rappers are Pushers, no pun intended. That’s what I call a blunt of wisdom, now pass that.

    RD

  3. Billy Sunday Says:

    emme,
    I see how you could have misunderstood that last paragraph since I wrote it unclearly. The three main reasons that the wealthy Black athlete remains a slave are…
    1) the breakdown of the family structure
    2) rampant materialism
    3) devaluation of education
    these are part and parcel of the community that these athletes are raised in and the blame falls on the shoulders of the men and women of these communities.

    btw, I haven’t seen an Avon or Mary Kay lady in a hundred years and there are no Black-owned beauty salons in NYC. Keep in mind that even a dark skinned Dominican does not want to consider themselves Black.

  4. Billy Sunday Says:

    oh and yeah, I dare say it because I pwn the social commentary on this site.

    don’t get your panties in a bunch because you can’t handle the truth.

  5. NinaMM Says:

    Ugh. I wasn’t expecting such a thoughtful response to your post. I want to laugh! Eh…at any rate, I’m going to buy that book to put in my bathroom. Maybe I’ll read it.

  6. alex2.0 Says:

    what about tiger woods? he’s been doing plenty of community service…and not because a judge ordered him to as part of some plea agreement.

  7. Vik Says:

    money means nothing if it isn’t invested properly. the investments include family, community, education, etc, etc.

    until then….

  8. nicomalae Says:

    interesting….a note about women – more women are in post secondary education and/or starting/managing their own businesses be them full-time or side hustles than men. With that said, the assessment that absentee fathers equate consumerist children is a bit of a stretch. . .

  9. Billy Sunday Says:

    ^Nico,
    Thanks for coming to the party. Where did you see the assessment that absentee fathers equate sonsumerict children?!? Here’s a little hint for those of you that have a prob with reading comprehension… copy the line or phrase that you have a question about. Read it over to yourself, possibly reading it out loud. In that way you might be able to return a cogent, contextual answer to the thread.

    But thanks for coming to party.

  10. eauhellzgnaw Says:

    “With more women raising men by themselves we are seeing more men that think like women. Consumerism is valued much more than entrepreneurial ambition.”

    I’m sure that you aren’t speaking in absolute terms, but how is a reader not supposed to take from this the broad notion that female values lead to consumerism, while male values lead to entrepreneurship?

  11. the_dallas Says:

    WTF?!? Are people just falling out of their beds? Reader, please peep comments #1 and #3 in the thread that you just commented in…

    It does seem like a general statement, but the facts don’t lie.

  12. eauhellzgnaw Says:

    I read em, man.

    Actually, I don’t disagree with your point in this post. And I understand that to describe social phenomena, one has to generalize. I’m just sayin that effectively telling folks “Learn how to read, jackasses” is not a fair response to this particular objection.

    On a different note, did you see this thing ESPN had on Sprewell a while back? When he was still playing, either his team or his agent hired a full-time consultant/babysitter to be on call for Spree 24-7. If Spree thought about doing violence or making an impulsive buy, he called this guy, who then had to talk him out of the behavior. And this is apparently pretty common among athletes. It’s come to this: these ignorant fools have to be treated like 12-year-olds.

  13. the_dallas Says:

    Real talk is that I might only watch about 4hrs of broadcast t.v. a week (and that would be a lot for me). SportsCenter is still my shizzle along with Adult Swim. After that I don’t know what’s on the t.v. Some broad at VH-1 was sending me a buzz list until I said that VH-1 was where dead celebs went to have their caskets opened. It’s a Viacom subsid anyhoo so fuck ‘em.

    Billy’s point I believe is that it takes a village. And that starts with the folks that already know how to read. If I don’t leave my crib and try to do good works in the streets then I haven’t really learned anything. No soapbox rants are needed. Mostly just walking upright with my head to the sky. When the oppurtunity arises I do a little mentoring for the kids.

    The modern athlete is a direct reflection of who we are as a people/culture. They aren’t created in a vacuum. We cosign the bullshit when we walk down the street with the name of some idiot that can’t read stitched to our back and we don’t even know enough to know what that man represents, but we like the color of the jersey.

  14. Amadeo Says:

    Alot of this is basic…when I was in elementary the dudes that worked the local summer camp were all on the basketball team. These same dudes got channeled through to the schools with the best teams. There were no tryout and see if you can make it. The team was set, try-outs were a courtesy. These same dudes aren’t encouraged to actually learn…just to stay eligible.

    As far as the consumerism thing…having noted that describing social phenomena requires generalization…women are the biggest consumers! Half the marketing targeted at men is based off of “women will dig you if you have this”. Even the way clothes are made and priced lead to this conclusion. Men’s things are higher, cause an average man will wear his jeans until they fall off of him. An average woman has at least one article of clothing that they haven’t worn or even taken the tags off of. Here’s a simple test poll the people around you about how many pairs of shoes they own, I’m sure the biggest numbers will come from women. Doesn’t mean every single woman only lives to shop. Just like all men aren’t dogs, ne’ c’est pas?

  15. apple halsey Says:

    hey dp,

    so with all your sneaker fiend purchases and your “addict”-driven consumerism for all things polo, are you trying to tell your gentle readers that you are, in fact, a woman?

    Wow, given the pics we’ve seen of you, you’re right. We can’t handle the truth.

    Honey, girlfriend to girlfriend, spend some of your discretionary do re mi on laser or something to deal with that facial hair….unless of course your man likes that kind of thing. In which case, it’s all good.

  16. the_dallas Says:

    ^(sigh) ethered by a chicck.

  17. First Class Says:

    Hi, I was doing some research and the title of the book $40 Million Slave came to mind from an ad from a few years ago. I Googled it an came across this blog. I am very interested in why we, as a people, are fighting over a generalization about a social observation. The fact is we are dying as a people and the sports and entertainment industries are eating our young with these fantasies of riches and fame based on music or sport.
    What if Arabs gave away their natural resources like black athletes and entertainers do?
    Why are there so few black sports agents when blacks are the majority in professional sports? The agent the athlete chooses is purely their choice. My point is that we must teach business skills and wealth building to our off spring. Vertical Integration would have these highly paid athletes using black sports agents who would find deals to employee black concession businesses, black arena clean up businesses, black grounds keeping businesses etc. If Michael Jordon used his powers like Lebron James to spread his wealth and celebrity to others in his community we as a people would be better off. All Praise to Mr. James and his group of business associates who struck out in a white dominated world to find a black solution to the sports agency question.
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Lebron+James+makes+a+smart+business+play:+agency+building+a+brand+and…-a0156135653

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