Never in the history of our black Americans who since our founding as a nation have found themselves on the outside looking in has there been a chance like this for them to make a note of their presence and contribution to America. They should not let it pass.
Jada Pinkett Smith said that it is about time that blacks realize they: “no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere.” If that is so then why have they not been invited to sit at the of the National Football League owners’ tables. Now is their time to get handed that invitation.
The blacks have a chance to show their power — the black power movement of the Sixties accomplished little — but now they have in their hands the ultimate bargaining tool. If properly used it can do more for blacks than any piece of civil rights legislation ever accomplished. It will make America accept them unconditionally.
What better way is there for blacks to demand their fair share of the pie than to start in an area where they are the majority of the workforce which is the NFL. I noted previously that there are no black majority owners in the NFL where blacks represent 68% of the workforce. Has anyone stopped to wonder why? Is this a legacy of the manner in which blacks have been treated over the years?
Unlike Major League Baseball where a player who enters into a contract has a guarantee of being paid; the blacks in the NFL sign a different type contract. It can be torn up at the whim of the owner. The black player can be put on a raft, pushed out on a river, and told to fend for himself. It is reminiscent of tales from the Old South.
The white NFL owners meet each year. They decide the working conditions under which the blacks will labor. They let no blacks in to have a vote.
All these owners are billionaires or near-billionaires. They keep raking in money like us New Englanders rake in leaves during the fall. The blacks get the scraps that trickle off the owners table. The owners avoid the risks of bodily injuries while every game day the black athlete jeopardizes his future with the chance of having a serious life-disabling injury. Then there is also the future of a crippled mental state as a result of the multiple head trauma.
The black history in America tells the long and sad story of blacks not being invited to the dinner. Slavery, Jim Crow Laws, Separate but Equal, the early 20th Century riots, the lynchings and burnings, the KKK, and COININTEL to mention the most obvious. There is no place in America that is more like the antebellum plantation system than the NFL.
Why is it that no black leaders question this system where humongous profits gained off the toil and sweat of the black workers go into the pockets of white owners who feel so little obligation to the workers that they give them no job security? Isn’t it time the black worker recognize that he is entitled to a cut of the pie? In a business where so much depends on the courage and skill of workers who face debilitating injury would not a fair system be that the worker get not only a guarantee contract but a share of the profits.
America is salivating with the idea that these black workers will toil as usual in less than two weeks in the 50th Super Bowl. Parties are being planned, bets are being made, the white owners and their entourages are flocking to the site of the game and luxuriating in the publicity. In the time between now and the game we will be inundated with publicity about it.
It will not be the “Black Lives Matter” movement that will help blacks get invited; nor the silly Academy Awards tiff over not getting a nomination, nor the movement by students in schools such as the University of Missouri or Boston Latin School. They really affect no one so they can be and will be mostly ignored.
But the Super Bowl.Suppose they gave a Super Bowl and no black players came. Can you imagine it? Last year they tell us almost 115 million Americans watched it.
These NFL owners are so cheap that they are asking the halftime performers to pay to be perform at the event. They are also involved in gambling enterprises to add to their wealth. Isn’t it time that they share fairly with their workers rather than treating them a little better than serfs?
Black Americans must not let this time pass. It must show its power by uniting together. Too often they have been divided or bought off. Now they really have like at no other time in their history the power to demand something to better their lives and to make America appreciate their contributions to our society.
To ensure their participation in the Super Bowl they must make two simple demands: they should all get guaranteed contracts; and, the and their fellow white players should get 50% of all profits made by the owners from their labors. Unless they do, they should boycott the 50th Super Bowl.