Ignoring the fact that only when it comes to a Black person’s money, not only is age discrimination allowed but actually encouraged, what we should do is try to turn this situation to our advantage.
And make no mistake, when David Stern decided in 2005 to try and raise the NBA’s minimum age requirement to 20 – it ended up being negotiated down to 19 – what he was doing was not only unethical, but outright criminal.
If an 18 year-old is in the best position to raise his family’s financial status, why not let him? Venus Williams was a pro tennis star at 14. Freddie Adu was playing professional soccer at 14. Doc Gooden was setting strikeout records at 19 and I could go on ad nauseam with a list of hockey players and other star athletes, some too young to drive, but all old enough to make paper.
David Stern’s imposition of a league-wide age requirement, despite there being no legal working age minimum in several states, all while under the guise of allegedly “protecting” young players from the predatory scouts of the league in which he was commissioner, was nothing more than a sham concocted, undoubtedly, in cahoots with “Big Time” college basketball, all to force those same youngsters into what turned out to be at least a year of indentured servitude.
In other words, despite the fact that Moses Malone, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and LeBron James are some of the greatest players in NBA history and none of them ever set foot on a college campus, Stern was able to successfully argue that he was somehow doing young players a “favor” by making them play for free at some school that would have otherwise laughed at their application for admission had they been unable to pass out of a double-team.
This same sham would of course put those young players on an auction block of sorts, able to be sold to the highest “Big Time” college bidder who, since they couldn’t offer the players any money outright or face violating the already bogus NCAA rules of eligibility, employed boosters, money-men, shysters, frauds, whores: both natural and professional, gamblers, freaks, agents and liars, all with the understanding that NCAA Basketball Tournament payoffs would be a tremendous return on their investment.
Now, paraphrasing Bob Marley, I’ll ask, “How long will they steal our young folks, while we stand aside and look?”
Here’s what absolutely has to be done: and don’t get me wrong, I do have a dog in this fight. I’m an HBCU alum myself.
Which one? The best one, of course!
And, as you can ask any HBCU alum if their school was the best and they’d all answer “yes”, the truth of it is, they’d also all be right.
Now, the plan: we’ve gotta get these kids to go to our schools, it’s just that simple.
It’s insane that when a school like Morgan State, which is 86% Black plays a school like Duke, which is only 10% Black, we not only expect Duke to win, but understand that victory will come off the backs of Duke’s Black players!
PWIs are doing to HBCUs what Hannibal of Carthage did during his occupation of Italy; using our own to fight and beat us!
But since we couldn’t possibly compete with “Big Time” colleges as far as offering illicit slush money, what the HBCUs need to do is offer out mass scholarships. This way, not only the star ball player, but all of his friends, his high school sweetheart, some of his marginal teammates and hell, even his mama if necessary, people that wouldn’t want any parts of the environment at a “Big Time” college, can get an education.
After all, your boy Ray-Ray don’t wanna go to Duke.
But after 4 years at North Carolina A&T, Ray-Ray will not only be looking around for a grad school, he’ll also insist that you call him Raymond.