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The 3 Things MLK Would Have Hated About Sports in 2017

Everyone reading this can (hopefully) agree that Martin Luther King Jr. possessed a sound moral compass. Would he have enjoyed listening to Stephen A. Smith? Watching referees who don’t know the rules? Pretending that the WNBA doesn’t have flaws that need fixing? Of course not, but MLK focused on the big issues, and the big picture.

There are three things in sports right now that directly contradict Dr. King’s teachings, and they are…

3. Ticket Prices

It costs an arm, two legs, twelve Bitcoin, and your first born child to attend a Wednesday night Lakers game against the Kings. This, friends, is a problem. Corruption in the online ticketing industry has made it virtually impossible for lower income families to attend games (the average cost for an NFL ticket is $95.22), and nobody in power outside of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to do anything about it. Exorbitant ticket prices are dumb (the teams aren’t making the money, the middlemen are), and classist. ChubHub and the rest of the online vendors deserve to be boycotted…

2. Goodell

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The NFL’s not as bad as the NCAA when it comes to screwing over its (mostly black) athletes, but it’s pretty damn close. Instead of giving players fair benefits to help combat the whole “repeated cranial impact having a profound effect on the human brain” thing, the NFL spent decades denying/covering up evidence before reaching a $1 billion settlement with the players. One billion American dollars may sound like a lot, but it was actually a pretty shitty deal for the players. In addition to concussions, Deflategate witch hunts, the Ray Rice debacle, and a sense of entitlement that makes all of New York’s trust fund babies appear mellow and well-adjusted in comparison, Goodell (and this isn’t totally his fault) actively screws his current players with a CBA centered on non-guaranteed contracts and shitty health insurance. We did the math, and MLK would have been 1,000,000,000 times the commissioner Roger is…

1. Unpaid College Athletes

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Nobody likes to talk about it, but what is the modern NCAA? What do they do, what purpose do they serve? It emerged under the radar, but Mike Shanahan, Ed McCaffrey, and Don Yee (Tom Brady’s agent) launched Pacific Pro Football, which will take high school graduates with NFL aspirations and pay them $50k a year to learn what it takes to play on Sundays. They’re not saying it, but their goal is obvious: to supplant the NCAA. This could be the modern vocational school for athletics, an idea that is well overdue. Modern college athletics, particularly football, equates to indentured servitude. Everyone makes money off the players’ free labor, except the guys — mostly black guys from poor areas in the Southeast, Texas, or Southern California — risking everything on the field. The NCAA might be the most exploitative organization in the world — the players desperately need an MLK-esque voice to stand up to Mark Emmert’s authoritarian regime…

Questions, comments, feel like trolling? Email Tim at theleadsports.com…

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