|A book worth reading, but you won’t, will you?|
It’s another of my periodic reminders that Dave Zirin is among the select few sports writers worth reading, for the simple reason that he refuses to view sports outside a broader societal context: Our games, and the games we play.
Your March Madness Bracket Is Exploiting Student-Athletes, by Dave Zirin (Edge of Sports)
The quote of this year’s NCAA tournament was spoken before a minute of action took place on the court. Lavar Ball, the garrulous hype-man/father of UCLA star freshman Lonzo Ball as well as upcoming prepsters LaMelo Ball and Liangelo Ball, was asked if he believed that he was “exploiting” his sons. His response: “What do you think UCLA is doing?” Half the sports commentariat reached for their fainting couches and the other half said, “Damn right” …
… If the economic structure of this thing we call amateur college basketball has altered so dramatically, the situation of the players is painfully similar to the days when Kareem patrolled the paint at Pauley Pavilion. In fact, the most tangible differences for players, compared to Kareem’s days, are that they travel greater distances, play more games, risk more injury, and have less flexibility in terms of the classes that they can take. In other words, as the money has become greater, the level of exploitation has increased.
Enjoy the tournament, suckers. The robber barons appreciate it.