In "The Shame of College Sports," Taylor Branch writes that the NCAA has "an unmistakable whiff of the plantation" and that student-athletes are denied their Constitutional right to due process. Agree or disagree?
The rules that exploit athletes do reek of colonialism, and colonialism is indeed a more apt characterization than slavery, even though athletes don't make money for their work. Colonialism was shrouded in, "Europe knows what's best for Africa, and by colonizing them we will guide their savage ways toward ours." In slavery there was only a rare pretense of enslavement being to the benefit of the slave. There is still a dominant belief that the current collegiate sports system protects young athletes. But Branch still delivers a little too much of the slavery analogy in his article (even after cautioning against it). Colonialism is, in its nuance, closer to reality, but even that language should be tempered as well.