Yardbarker- When asked by TMZ about the NCAA’s decision to refuse Northwestern’s football players the right to unionize, Webber didn’t hold back.
“Oh, yeah, I saw that come out today. I definitely think student-athletes have the right to make sure they can take care of each other. You know, Bill Russell told me any system that gets free labor is slavery, so, um, I’m sure they have the right to unionize.”
Live look at me after I watched Chris Webber compare the NCAA to slavery...
There's a lot of words in the English language. Hell, I am almost 30 years old and I feel like I am still learning about the existence of unknown words on a weekly basis. You are telling me we can't find one word that's a better comparative to the free labor system that the NCAA happens to run then slavery? Not one single word that could be used in place of a word that trivializes one of the most despicable phenomenons that has ever taken place in this country? Why do I find that hard to believe? I know Chris Webber was just quoting Bill Russell, but in honor of the people who were actually OWNED by other people, strictly because of their skin tone, maybe we could hit the thesaurus first and paraphrase the words of the Celtics great? Just a thought.
You want my honest opinion? I agree with Chris Webber. The NCAA is a joke. They play by their own rules and exploit student athletes for their own financial benefit. Then when said players turn around and use their athletic prowess for so much as a free meal or a single dollar they are punished by a governing body that plays outside of the bounds of societal law. With that said, I am just not as quick to compare kids that are receiving a free education to a bunch of people that were whipped and bound by chains when they weren't performing backbreaking manual labor under treacherous conditions. Is there a word that means 'kind of a servant'? If there isn't a better word for a free labor system then maybe we should create one, because their aren't exactly levels to the word 'slavery'. When I hear 'slavery' I think about black men and women losing blood, sweat, and tears in exchange for nothing, not a bunch of mixed race college kids losing blood, sweat, and tears in order to win a sporting event. They might deserve better, but all things considered, a group of beloved college kids taking jump shots by day and swimming in pussy by night have got a pretty sweet gig. The inclusion of the term slavery just shows exactly how good they have it. It certainly doesn't give any credence to how much better they probably should have it.
Chris Webber seems like a pretty rational dude. You know, when he's not running down the court with the ball in the waning seconds of a National Championship game with no timeouts to spare. Other then that I think he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders. However, maybe he should have paid a little more attention in that history class that he was attending free of charge at the University of Michigan, because NOTHING compares to the hardships of slavery. Not even a student whose career benefited greatly, albeit not monetarily, from the notoriety that college athletics provided him.