Shabazz Napier, point guard for The University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team, recently told reporters he understands why athletes at Northwestern need a union, as he sometimes has to go to bed “starving” because he cannot afford food.
“We as student athletes get utilized for what we do so well. We are definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed,” the senior told reporters. “I think, you know, Northwestern has an idea, and we’ll see where it goes.”
The National Labor Relations Board ruled last month that the football players at Northwestern, a private college, have the right to form the first labor union in college sports.
The NLRB ruling does not empower athletes at public universities like UConn to unionize, as public schools rely on state labor laws for such issues.
I hate both sides of this issue. First of all, shut up Shabazz. You’re not starving, you’re hungry. Most likely you’re stoned and you have the munchies. It’s not UConn’s fault the cafeteria is closed. Complete rookie move on his part. Anyone who couldn’t figure out how to get around this dilemma in four years is a moron. I struggled with this at UMass….for about a week. There’s a million ways around this, and I utilized all of them:
1) Cafeteria closes at 7 PM. You know you’ll be up until 2:00, and you’ll be hungry. Therefore every time you go to dinner, you make sure you walk out of there with a backpack full of greasy pizza, and a tub of Powerade. Problem solved.
2) Not in the mood for nasty ass cafeteria food? Here’s what I did. Start on the 22nd floor of Coolidge and go door-to-door telling people your friend was just arrested and you need $50 for bail. Ask them to pitch in a dollar. They’ll do it 80% of the time. In ten minutes you’ll have enough money to order a DC-10 from Wings.
3) You’re Shabazz Napier. You literally own UConn. Just start selling selflies of yourself for $5 a piece. Guaranteed no one turns you down. No receipts. Cash only. No trace to you. Problem solved.
4) Ask Kevin Ollie for $10. He seems nice. I would say he owes you for the gigantic raise he’s about to get. Problem solved.
So yea, I call shenanigans on Shabazz. This is complete bullshit from a player whose NBA career will be about as long as Fab Melo’s. But yet he’s one of the most legendary college players of all time and will never profit off of it. I totally understand where he’s coming from, but it’s just so obvious he’s lying his face off.
Look, I get what Shabazz is doing here. He’s using hyperbole to prove a valid point. People like him get the shaft. Your Julius Randle’s, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker’s of the world don’t need to get paid. Even if you paid them it would only be a fraction of their NBA signing bonus, and they’re only playing for one year in college anyway.
But players like Shabazz and Russ Smith are the next Ed O’Bannon’s – legendary college players that will have to get real jobs while the NCAA continues to profit immensely off of their hard work. It’s complete, 100%, grade A bullshit that college players like Johnny Manziel get in trouble for selling THEIR AUTOGRAPHED MEMORABILIA, while the school sells that same memorabilia and makes millions off of it. They’re the ones who have worked hard their whole lives to develop these unique skills. They’re the ones putting in 60 hours a week practicing, watching film, traveling, and playing games in front of thousands of people who pay to watch them.
They shouldn’t be paid, but they should be allowed to profit off of their likeness. Paying athletes complicates everything. How much are you gonna pay them? Do bench warmers get paid? How about women’s basketball? Too many variables. But if you’re an entrepreneur who can find a way to profit off of YOURSELF in a private business transaction, then that’s America bitch. Anyone who opposes that is a communist and should be taken out back and shot. Done.
As for the Union, TurtleBoy Sports is the blog of the working man. We’re 100% pro-labor. So if they wanna unionize, more power to them. I have a feeling they start regretting it once the bench warmers have to start paying dues and quit the union though. It’s a nice idea, but it’s just not likely to work. Nevertheless, when a black kid mentions the word “union” it brings out the Fox News crowd. Like this dingleberry:
Question – is this the dumbest argument you’ve ever read? Ummm, to answer your question Carol, college sports generate billions in revenue, while high school teams have bake sales to pay for new uniforms. High school athletes are also not housed on campus. So yea, terrible analogy.
I love when people say they’re “playing a game” too. Newsflash: to fans it is a game; to players it’s work. Shut up Carol.
Or how about this nudnik?
Yea Shabazz, get a God damn job!! He should just invent hours in a day, never sleep, and get a job at 7/11. Or just take your government welfare and buy some food you lazy bum!!
Then there’s this guy:
Yea I know right? He should form a union or something.
The fact of the matter is that Kevin Ollie got a $167,000 bonus for making it this far in the tournament. Shabazz doesn’t deserve a piece of that? He doesn’t have a right to be outraged about the fact that his hard work is benefitting everyone except him?
This is why I’m rooting for Kentucky tonight. Coach Calipari keeps it real. He’s the only honest coach in the NCAA. He urges his players to leave college after their freshmen year to go pro, because it’s what is best for them financially. He would certainly benefit from their free labor for another year, but unlike frauds like Jim Boeheim, who earn millions of dollars a year and shit on their players when they declare for the draft as freshmen, Calipari is an honest man who actually gives a shit about the kids he coaches.
Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.