Are Black Athletes Overpaid?

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I want to hate on LeBron James and his ilk because it seems that everybody’s doing it nowadays and I love to be in tune with popular opinion. Now, while I do agree with some of the points that have been made against LeBron, I bristle whenever someone suggests that he’s “overpaid.”

I am, admittedly, a poor man. The problem is that I’m also a capitalist. As such, no one knows better than I the value of always getting the absolute most compensation for the absolute least amount of effort. That’s called “business.”

I’m old enough to remember being outraged that Redd Foxx from TV’s Sanford and Son had skipped the first half of one particular season because he was holding out for more money from the network. The show had been a smash the previous year and Foxx decided to capitalize. Me, being young and dumb, not only thought that Foxx was being “greedy” by holding out for more cash, but I also thought, believe it or not, that he was being a poor reflection on Black people because he was suggesting, albeit indirectly, that we weren’t sophisticated enough to honor contracts.

Like I said, I was dumb.

I’ve grown to understand that not only should all true capitalists treat the idea that anybody could possibly be “overpaid” as treason to our highest moral ideal, but we as Black people should also remember that as former “free labor” there are folks that helplessly can only imagine that any money at all that we earn makes us “overpaid.” In addition to that, when you consider that of the multitude of treaties that the United States government made with the Native Americans, they honored not a single one. I wouldn’t be able to blame young ball players if, instead of dancing, they demanded to have their contracts restructured after every single touchdown.

Now, how would that be for “acting white?”

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