Clarification on LeBron and Jesse

I need to make it clear that I think a conversation around athletes and exploitation really needs to be had. This has come back to me especially with regard to football where these guys may well be risking their lives. I don't reject that conversation out of hand.


But much like I reject lazy indictments of patriotism, I (perhaps more strongly) reject lazy invocations of slaveholding. Longtime followers of this blog probably have some idea why, and maybe I'm taking it too personal. It just strikes that a sloppy comparison between labor issues in pro sports and slavery demeans both. The case for the former is not so weak that it requires the brandishing of the latter.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In