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Modern Slavery in Sports Industry

Today at lunch, my partner and I sat eating Mexican food while the NFL Draft played on the TV behind us. Well, more specifically, it was playing behind me while he craned his neck to see past my head and get a better view of the screen. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I know nothing about football, or pretty much any sport. So it was during this time that my partner was explaining, or should I say attempting to explain, to me what the draft was and how it works. Here is what I got out of it: it’s basically a bunch of rich White guys “picking” who they want for their team from a group of waiting, mostly Black athletes. During this time, the athletes sit in the crowd and look up at the stage waiting to see whom they are bought by.

My first reaction to this was “wow that sounds like slavery,” to which my boyfriend responded by showing me an awful commercial the NFL had created for last year’s draft. Yes, I know that I am very late to this topic, but I was so shocked by this video that I felt that I had to write about it.

The video is an advertisement for last year’s NFL Draft that they attempted to do in a joking manner. It has the draft set up as an auction where the auctioneer, a White man, is standing at the podium with a picture of Odell Beckham’s head. While everyone in the crowd, made up of all White people, are bidding on him. I think the comparisons to slavery here are so blatant that it does not take a deep analysis to even show that they are present. However, I am completely baffled that, with these references so obvious, why the hell was this video ever created. 

I believe their objective was to make a parallel to the movie, Get Out, that had just been released, but that movie is also based off of slavery. So even by trying to parallel the movie, you are still are paralleling slavery. Here’s a link to the commercial for in case you are also looking to be completely baffled and extremely angry.


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