FROM THE CHARLESTON SLAVE TRADE PORT TO ESPN
POSTED AUGUST 18TH, 2017 | BY RAMIRO ALEXANDER-DUCHESNE
There’s nothing new about some people having superiority complex issues. And, just when you think people would have the common sense to say, “Hey, we’ve really been acting out lately, maybe we should pump our brakes,” they go and do something else to ‘justify’ their sense of privilege.
As if marching on the University of Virginia’s campus shouting racial epithets, which ultimately led to three deaths and a number of injuries, having Trump blame “both sides” for the violence, and then having white supremacists all over social media place all of the blame on counter-protesters and the police wasn’t bad enough, they had to make things worse.
If you’re a football fan, then you might play Fantasy. Even if you’re just a sports fan and you leave your TV on ESPN all day everyday, then surely you’ve heard about ESPN’s Fantasy Football auction. That’s right an auction.
It’s bad enough that sports team owners view their players as valuable commodities, but now the average Fantasy Football fan views athletes as commodities as well. In addition to this disheartening viewpoint, the heinous aspect of it is that wealthy business people exploit athletes for their personal gain.
Like James Baldwin said, “To be [Black] in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time.” Most athletes in particular have made wonderful contributions to the Black community as a whole. It’s great that with the money they make from playing sports, they can help others who come from similar backgrounds. The downfall to that, however, is that athletes have to be subjugated to white privilege, racism, and superiority complexes in order to earn the almighty dollar.
Being Black and conscious, you can’t help but wish that there was a better way for wealth to circulate throughout our community. At the same time, you don’t want to knock athletes for doing the best that they can with the talent that God gave them, in this world that does not have our best interests at heart.
Fantasy football players know how the game works. You bid on the players with the highest stats. That’s bad enough as it is because you’re bidding on a person, not a piece of merchandise. To add insult to injury, ESPN hosted and televised an actual auction where an auctioneer held up cut-outs of football player’s faces before a bidding crowd.
Footage of the auction looked just like the scene from Jordan Peele’s film, Get Out, where they were auctioning off the main character’s body. Furthermore, this fantasy football auction resembled something much deeper than Get Out. It resembled American slavery where Black men, women, and children were stripped naked, placed on blocks before bidding crowds of white people, and then auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Football players like Odell Beckham, Jr. took to Twitter expressing his discontent.
Even other athletes like Basketball player Kevin Durant expressed his outrage over the matter.
And, of course opposing views took to social media as well. Tweets like these from Nick Matysek @NickMatysek and MakeLoveNotWarCraft @pages89 flooded Twitter.
Although ESPN issued an apology, their irresponsibility in regard to this erroneous stunt, and the support of ESPN for doing this, exhibits what a large part of the world’s population thinks of us and our history. Again, I would never try to knock another Black person for doing what they’re doing. If you want to play sports, play sports. But, with everything you do, please be conscious of what is going on around you.
Ramiro Alexander-Duchesne is a CSUITEMUSIC Blogger
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