The NFL, a bunch of rich white owners taking advantage of the black community

There are few institutions that use the black community more than the NFL.  It starts with high schools and colleges and ends with NFL team owners who are usually mostly white.  That group preys on the vulnerable black community by enticing young blacks to ignore their education so they can become great at football, and participate in the NFL where a few will make millions but the schools and the team owners know right from the stat that relatively few will be well enough educated to avoid bankruptcy later in life.


Thousands of black children don't try to get a decent education because they want to become a pro, most  become dropouts when that doesn't happen.   Instead of their parents, coaches, and school administrators acquainting them with reality most encourage them to follow their dream, because in the black community high aspirations are admired much more than schoolwork and much less spectacular ways approaches to becoming self sufficient.  Colleges court those few who show talent, offering them deals to good to turn down, if they just agree to put football first, and don't bother getting a real education, but rather just enough easy classes to stay in the football program.  For every one that makes it to the NFL, 1,000 fail and have nothing left to fall back on.  Then the NFL turns a few into glorious superstars, encouraging them to lead lifestyles that are utterly unsustainable the day they no longer make millions a year and most spend the rest of their lives doing something much more mundane like selling insurance and paying for every hit on the field with pain and the pills that go with it.


I think the black community would be much much better off it there was no NFL football option, but I'm sure the team owners would disagree.


Flying Junior Added Feb 6, 2018 - 4:09am
Lighten up Rusty.  Did you feel this way three years ago?  The black community has long pinned many of its hopes on professional sports.  Today it is no longer the only path to wealth for black men.  There are even pathways to wealth for black women.  Mixed race people.  Too many of our youth throw away the opportunities given to them by nation, community and family.  Far too many young never even get these chances.  You're seriously worried about black men neglecting their educations?  Check into UCLA.  Plenty of black faculty.
As an American, I consider high school, college and professional football as part of the fabric of who we are.  The NFL doesn't choose their players by any racial standards or quotas.  Like the Army and the Navy, people are advanced according to their merits.  The NFL is an enormous source of pride for all black Americans.  That is healthy.  Black, white, Samoan, mixed race...   It doesn't matter.  Even if you have a funny name, the football guys will educate you on how it is pronounced in American.
I take it you took no pleasure in Super Bowl LII?
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 6, 2018 - 8:01am
Hey Rusty! What about a fair and accurate reflection of the racial diversity of America ? Whites constitute something of an order of what, 77%? Best estimate, current US Census Bureau statistic for year 2016. I don't see that reflected in the rosters of these teams! How many of these collegiate programs are receiving taxpayer dollars? There needs to be some accountability here, damn it!
Dave Volek Added Feb 6, 2018 - 11:28am
I think your article touches on a bigger social issue. Many of us have come to believe that we need to have a self-actualized occupation to be a valuable human being. I would say that the black community's chase for their dream job is no different than a Canadian hockey family believing their boys are going to the NHL--and their education can be sacrificed.
But it would be interesting to get some stats on where high school football (or other sports) are 20 years later. I would hypothesize that, statistically speaking, they are better off than kids who did not partake in sports. Being on a team gives many life skills (like showing up on time for practices). Any activity that requires kids to have some self-discipline and learn how to get along with others is much better than hanging around the street corner.
If the black community is guilty of believing the only good jobs are in sports or entertainment, there are a lot of other people who hold similar unrealistic values of how the world really works. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 7, 2018 - 9:00pm
Flying Junior  I've felt this way about long shot sports careers every since I was a child and back then the big thing was Boxing.  I knew several  black kids who, (with their parents blessing), sidelined their education so they could become the next Muhammad Ali, and as you might guess NONE ever made it.  In my mind this really has less to do with race than it has to do with Pipe Dreams that sucker poor people, in this case predominantly from the black community, into becoming losers, by hanging carrots that are unattainable for the vast majority, in front of them.   
I actually think more would get rich buying lottery tickets than trying to make it in the NFL, and with those odds, I think parents all over should be telling their children to hit the books instead because the NFL is a pipe dream.  Even most who do make it end up miserable has been's once they get too old to play and run out of money since they practically never have a fall back plan.
I get angry when I realize all the people suckering them into devoting their lives to football, know the odds, and know that even if they make it, which few do, most will regret it later on when they get older.  It's a little better than signing up Kama Kayi pilots, but not much.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 7, 2018 - 9:04pm
The Burghal Hidage I think the appeal of football hits the poor among us the hardest and there just happen to be a lot of poor in black communities who think they have few other ways to "live the dream".
Lets face it the poor want respect and the NFL does offer them respect and money they can't get legally any other way, especially if they don't do well in school.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 7, 2018 - 9:12pm
Dave Volek there are a lot of non black people who case the same dream, but this dream has more of negative impact on poor black communities than it does on most other communities because a much higher percentage of their youth sacrifice a much better future trying to make it to the NFL.  Blacks are 12.5% of the population but  58% of the NFL.  They are almost 5 times more likely to get suckered by the NFL dream.
I think sports help more than they hurt before college but there recruiting machine for college football and the NFL encourages young athletes to ignore serous educational opportunities so they can focus on football.  The ones that make the NFL may be rich for a short while, but I think most die poorer than their average non football playing peers who pursue other academic careers in college.
Flying Junior Added Feb 7, 2018 - 10:14pm
Your comments explain your point of view clearly.
Dave Volek Added Feb 8, 2018 - 11:30am
Yep, the black community has bought into a pipe dream a little too hard.
I too fell into a pipe dream (my occupation must be self-actualized) and made some rather silly career decisions when I was 35. I could have been off a lot better financially had I decided that being an ordinary engineer was OK.
My niece went to a basketball camp during the Christmas holidays. It was presented by some university-level players who preached that kids should live their dream. Strange, the players still had a long ways to go before getting to the top. This disease is everywhere!
Another fine article and fine comments!
Dino Manalis Added Feb 8, 2018 - 11:38am
Education comes first, parents and teachers should stress it, but blacks are generally quicker and better athletes, that's why the NFL chooses the best college players.  You're right, team owners are whites, wealthy blacks should interest themselves in buying up teams, I hope they do.
Ben McCargo Added Feb 8, 2018 - 7:00pm
Rusty, I get what you're saying but you would hope that such an avenue wouldn't be entirely shut off from anyone, as Dave says, you know, it could be the same for a Canadian family with NHL aspirations for their kids.  You hope that the safeguards present will hold up their end; teachers, coaches and most important, parents, like Dino said. I mean, it is a way out of poverty for many, black and white or whatever, as FJunior said.  But I understand what you mean.  It starts with good advice and that should be given at an early age: education first, because a knee is a fragile thing.  I wouldn't condemn the entire NFL.
Ben McCargo Added Feb 8, 2018 - 7:03pm
Hedge, ALL Athletes matter.  Have we not learned anything?
Rusty Smith Added Feb 8, 2018 - 9:36pm
Dave Volek  the problem is hardly unique to the black community, very recently one close friend has encouraged his grandchildren to go for the Gold, pushing one into football and the other basket ball and both have had to moderate their academic efforts so they could satisfy the demands of their coaches.
I have a coworker who is a part time football recruiter and although I don't really know how that works, I do know he knows all the statistics pretty well.  He openly admits that it's rare for the successful athletes to have enough time to also do well academically.  All he cares about is that the keep a GPA high enough to be allowed to compete, and like everyone else urges them to take simple classes to make that happen.  
Rusty Smith Added Feb 8, 2018 - 9:48pm
Dino Manalis I don't believe blacks are inherently better athletes or for that matter not as smart as white people, but I believe the cultural world they grow up in successfully motivates a much higher percentage of them, (in poor neighborhoods), to try because  in their world it may not be cool to try and do well in school, but it is ok to try and be a cool super athlete.
Suggesting the high number in the NFL indicates blacks are better athletes is like saying they don't have brains because few become engineers.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 8, 2018 - 9:55pm
Ben McCargo I'm actually pretty unhappy with all the long shots in life, I wouldn't encourage my children or grand children to try and be a movie star, a rock star, or a professional athlete, the odds just aren't in their favor.  I do get upset when schools put adults in front of children who make it sound like the children should chase their dream even if it means focusing on the long shot instead of an education that would most likely better support them later on in life.
I know it's true, all the greats wouldn't have been great if they followed my advice, but for every one of them their are hundreds or thousands of less successful athletes who blew the chance to get a serious education and have a decent job for life.
I think sports make a good hobby, but as the saying goes, "don't give up your day job".
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 9, 2018 - 1:41am
Pro sports are a scam that destroy thousands of lives for every one success.
Billionaire owners and their millionaire players contribute nothing of real value to the so-called fabric of DUHmerica or any other country. Quite the opposite, they disseminate propaganda and unhealthy goals.
They also are a huge financial burden upon the communities they infest with publicly paid for pleasure palaces for their private profit. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 9, 2018 - 1:44am
No athletes matter. 
Ñot. One. Single. Athlete. Ever.
Ben McCargo Added Feb 9, 2018 - 9:56am
Rusty, a sports career or a musical career wouldn't be my first choice above education for my children either, especially if they got stars in their eyes, you know what I mean.  But what if you have a child with a gift and they want to pursue it, you shouldn't stifle a child's dream, that dream could be to be the next president of the US.  I would tell my kids to have an out, an alternative.  F*#k it, turn a hobby into a business, a college minor into a career, that sort of thing.  To your point about the NFL, it's not that the league preys on poor black kids, it's that the league isn't willing to truly take precautions to prevent CTD.  That's my beef and concern with 'em.  Me, I don't know if I'd advise my kid to play ball, unless he was a really, smooth and evasive runner.  And even then I'd think long and hard.
Ben McCargo Added Feb 9, 2018 - 9:57am
I know Jeff, tickets ARE high.  I can't afford to go to a game either.
Ben McCargo Added Feb 9, 2018 - 10:16am
And Rusty, to Dino's position, yes, more prominent black investors need to step up and invest in things such as team ownership or other lucrative ventures.  I agree, it's happening or, it's a work in process shall we call it?
But Dino, Rusty makes a point as well.  The blanket statement that blacks are better athletes than white is kinda troubling.  Let me tell you why.  As a black man while I appreciate the kudo, it brings with it some problematic issues.  See, if we're better at athletics then that means we're worse at something else.  And in the minds of those less tolerant who automatically think we're nothing but stupid and ignorant, well it has to be worse academically, no brain you see.  I hope you understand that.
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 9, 2018 - 11:50am
Rusty and Ben -  Surely neither of you thought that my first comment in thread was meant as a serious shout out for athletes (white, black or otherwise). It was meant as an illustration of the absurdity of affirmative action. 
I agree that pro sports (as well as other mediums of entertainment) are over-glorified in our culture, your point is well taken. Pro sports are an area where we find the best argument to be made against racial quotas.  Athletes attain their level of success based not upon their race, but instead by the merit of their performance.  There are no suggestions that at least 70% of a pro sports league be represented by whites in order to reflect the proper racial balance. Why? Well first off because it would just be a stupid idea. Then there is the whole racist factor -  anything promoting "whiteness" is inherently racist. But wait a minute..... Why does the same standard not apply in things like NAACP? Why is there a BET network?  Why, in what is supposed to be a post racial landscape, is there a "black" anything? 
If you're good enough to compete in sports without a leg up out of the gate then you are good enough to compete in anything else without the advantage.  To suggest anything less would be to suggest that somehow you were not as good. I'm pretty sure by most people's definition this is racist
Dr. Rupert Green Added Feb 9, 2018 - 7:13pm
Rusty, is there a problem with White parents letting their children do hockey? Couple years ago a ban was placed on athletic scholarships. Was it that too many Blacks were getting in? Some years ago, a California college imported plane loads of Asians to uplift its research standing.  Is sports not about teams waring on the field as opposed to tribes waring--and now a way to keep people from seeing how the gov is screwing them. What was that Gladiator stuff about?
Rusty Smith Added Feb 10, 2018 - 12:45am
Ben McCargo I would not say that if blacks truly are genetically better athlete that it means they are worse at something else, but it sure opens the door to those who might claim their muscles and reflexes are better AND their brains are different too, as many white supremacists would have us believe.
I happen to think it would be possible for them to be different from people in other races but "the proof is in the pudding" and I can't see evidence that that's true when it comes to athletics or intelligence.  There seems to be an overlap in both that is much more relevant than some individuals traits.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 10, 2018 - 12:48am
Dr. Rupert Green I think the problem is universal if anyone of any race encourages their children to pursue athletic or even acting careers or try and be rock-stars  hard enough that they neglect their studies.  Odds are huge that they won't make it and they all need a solid back up plan supported by a solid education.  
If a good student likes sports, fine, but they need to be a good student first, because for 99% of them, that's what will pay their bills and retire them comfortably.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 10, 2018 - 12:51am
The Burghal Hidage Affirmative action plans all presume the people they are promoting don't have what it takes to compete on an equal level without being given an advantage.  I think that in itself is racist and demeaning to all the people being told they are inferior and need that help to be equal.
Thomas Napers Added Feb 11, 2018 - 6:05am
I don’t think poor uneducated blacks that find a way to make a really good living playing a sport they love are being taken advantage of.  The relationship between the all professional sports and all of its players is a symbiotic one.  As for the many blacks that don’t play professional sports yet gave up on their education in hopes they would, they only have themselves to blame. 
This victim mentality bullshit is bad enough when they do it!
Dave Volek Added Feb 11, 2018 - 10:09pm
About two years ago, I attended a concert of a sing-songwriter named Martin Kerr. Probably one of the better concerts I had attended in the last decade.
Martin had a good story about his craft. He finished about 15th place in Canadian idol about 10 years age. He didn't get the fan exposure he was looking for, and he didn't see the experience as a training ground. But he made a few good contacts in the industry.
On his website (at the time), he talked about the business side of his craft. He had three pieces of advice:
1) You need to be good at music.
2) You need to be marketing always: i.e. if not enough gigs are happening, get busking.
3) If you are thinking about being rich and famous, you will likely be disappointed.
Reading between the lines, he seemed to be netting about  $50,000 a year. He takes gigs that don't require a lot of traveling. He likes to spend time with his kids. He might never get famous, but he is enjoying what he is doing--and earning a lower middle class income!
Rusty Smith Added Feb 11, 2018 - 11:12pm
Thomas Napers I would draw a parallel between the lottery winners and those that make it in the NFL, both had to overcome such huge odds to be one of the ones it paid off for that I wouldn't advise anyone to recommend that career path to their children.
Sure the winners think it's great, but for every winner the streets are littered with a thousand less fortunate kids who will end up sacrificing a good future they could have if they went after a good education instead, for failure that results when they don't make it to the NFL.
Even those that make it usually end up broke old men long before they die, because they never paid enough attention to anything but football to know how to make millions last a lifetime.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 11, 2018 - 11:14pm
Dave Volek I the last thing he said is the wisest advice, "If you are thinking about being rich and famous, you will likely be disappointed.  Even he is likely do die poor when he gets too old to perform, and he made it.
Thomas Napers Added Feb 12, 2018 - 11:07am
I would draw the same parallel between lottery winners and those that make it in the NFL.  However, that point, as well as the rest of your comment, has nothing to do with the comment I wrote you.  You suggested the NFL bears some culpability for black athletes that give-up on their education to pursue a career in the NFL.  I consider that an example of the victim mentality run amuck.  It’s bad enough when black athletes make an argument like that, even worse when that argument is supported by someone like yourself. 
Rusty Smith Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:13pm
Thomas Napers I would not necessarily blame the NFL any more than I'd blame tobacco companies for creating great ads that attract smokers, that's their job, that's what I expect them to do.  
However I am disappointed that so many parents and even teachers and coaches who are supposed to be role models and good advisers fall for the sales pitch and urge their children to go for the Gold.
Tobacco companies know their product isn't good for people, but they sell it anyway and most responsible adults know it's a sucker's game and discourage kids from being suckered in.  Yes they might enjoy smoking for their entire life and never get cancer, but we all know most of the time it's a risk that definitely isn't worth taking.
Similarly the NFL knows there is huge chance most kids won't make the big time and even if they do, most will die broke but they still gladly entice them, even knowing most would be better off if they focused on their education and got a normal job.  Parents, teachers and coaches should know that too but most of the poor black neighborhood ignores the odds and encourages their kids to Gold.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:19pm
Bill it's hardly a rule, people do make it in the NFL and a few even do well afterwards, but it's just a real long shot and that's why I would never encourage anyone I like to go for the Gold.  It's ruined thousands more lives than it's helped and I think those odds say everything I need to know.
The odds are good in a Russian Roulette spin, but I'd never suggest someone go for it because the odds were in their favor.