If you know what’s going on in the professional sporting world, you just can’t support any of it in any way. It’s apparently among the most racist of the cultural institutions in America.
I confess I’ve never been a big fan of professional sports anyway, so it’s not a great sacrifice on my part to decide to boycott them, but lots of folks who are big fans should start to speak up and stay away, because they’re folks who don’t really believe in what’s happening there, the exploitation of black people by rich white guys.
There’s not much excuse for it really. Blatant racism, blatant political and financial corruption, total violation of all of the basic values that America supposedly stands for, including most recently freedom of speech.
Shaun King lays it out pretty clearly in a recent Medium article (The Unbearable Whiteness of NFL Ownership): 31 of the 32 NFL owners completely caved in to Trump and banned free speech on their fields, under the treat of firing players, etc. In addition, King points out the lily-whiteness of professional ownership:
Of the 92 major professional sports teams in the U.S. — between the NFL, NBA, and MLB — there are only six teams with people of color as majority owners, and just one of them is an African-American.
This is intolerable for me. It is the consequence, as King explains, of the process of integration into the dominant capitalist system. There’s big money made in professional sports, so the big money boys flock to it. Ain’t free market economics wonderful?
In round terms, the top one-tenth owns 20% of the wealth, and the top 10% owns 90%. That’s the root of the problem, along with the racism at the heart of all our institutions, which is a holdover from slavery and Jim Crow of the past. Combined with the recent fascist/white supremacy surge, we have an intolerable social and economic situation, of which the professional sports issue is just a slice.